A Fan of the Game

Sports Talk, Straight Talk

Green Bay Packers are Super Bowl XLV Champions. A Fan’s Look Back.

Crazy isn’t it?

To think back to some of the games throughout the season and know how little hope some Packers fans (me) had in the team making the playoffs is crazy.

Those back-to-back overtime losses against Washington and Miami seemed like backbreakers. And considering I’m stuck in Redskins country, I had to hear about it more than I needed to. Actually, Skins fans will continue to bring up beating the eventual World Champs.

That’s fine, though, because the Packers are the World Champs.

What a great Super Bowl. My heart started pounding through my chest around the top of the 6 o’clock hour. The family was having burritos, and the TV was left on in the kitchen to watch the pregame festivities — rarely is the TV ever left on during dinner.

After inhaling three burritos, I raced back upstairs to watch the game. I declined an invitation to watch the game downstairs on the even-bigger screen. Chalk it up to superstition.

I posted the same “Go Pack Go” YouTube video as my status as I had done before the previous playoff games. I donned an Aaron Rodgers jersey and black sweatpants and put on a Packers hat backwards. The hat was a new addition to the regular lineup, and it didn’t disappoint (more on that later).

My computer was off to the side with Twitter and the ESPN comment section for the Super Bowl open. I enjoy reading instant reactions.

So with the annoying Glee product placement singer and botched National Anthem out of the way, it was time for kickoff, which seemed a bit rushed; Joe Buck didn’t have time to do the what-seems-like-usual “..And Super Bowl 45 is underway…*ball kicked*).

It was a decent return, like many other kickoff returns against the Packers. O, Packers special teams, how many games hast thou forfeited?

The Steelers go three-and-out and punt. Packers punt returner Tramon Williams muffs the catch and my heart drops. “Are you kidding me?” I asked out loud.

Luckily, the Packers recovered. Now looking back, I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if the Steelers did? Cue alternate history timeline.

The Steelers use the short field to go up 7-0. Aaron Rodgers drives to midfield but a dropped pass ends the series. Pittsburgh, now sensing even more Packers nerves, converts a deep pass to the five-yard line. Rashard Mendenhall runs it in, and it’s 14-0 Steelers early. Rodgers attempts to make a valiant effort for a comeback but it’s too late. The game eventually ends 37-21 for Pittsburgh, and the world hears about the Steelers every minute of the offseason. Ben Roethlisberger is immediately crowned a future Hall of Famer.

Yuck. Even imagining that is hard to do.

It just so happens it’s the Packers who go up 7-0 first on a perfect pass from Rodgers to Jordy Nelson on 3rd and 1. I scream like a banshee (S.L.A.B., remember that). I can’t take being down in any game, not even down by one. I just like knowing that the other team has to score somehow to tie or go ahead.

My pounding hearts calms a tad until WOOSH! Nick Collins swoops in to intercept a Roethlisberger pass, and Collins streaks toward the endzone. Now, I’ve always had an irrational fear of a fumble after any and every interception I witness. So this feeling is multiplied by 1,000 since it’s the Super Bowl.

Collins dives from inside the five and into the endzone sending me into SLAB mode. UNBELIEVABLE! IS THIS REAL LIFE? DOUBLE TOUCHDOWN ALL THE WAY!

14-0 already? NOICE! Oh, and I also have a ridiculously stupid fear of seeing my team miss extra points after each score. I hate myself for it. But the point is made, and I’m feeling great.

Games are so much more enjoyable when your team is up by 14, wouldn’t you say?

As a fan of the San Jose Sharks, I know a thing or two about choking. Naturally my brain’s tainted logic lobe started working and reminded me, “Ray, these two touchdowns were way too early in the game. Think about all the football and hockey games you’ve watched where one teams jumps out on top before getting slaughtered the rest of the way.”

Here come the Steelers marching down the field to score 3 points. My mind fast-forwards to the end of the game where the Packers are down by 3 and need to kick a field goal to send the game to overtime. All because of that second-quarter field goal. It ruined EVERYTHING. (Clearly Mason Crosby missed the tying FG in my fast-forward daydream.)

This is how my brain operates during a game. Fun, huh?

No.

So I decide to turn my hat forwards to get some new mojo, and alas, it’s another Packers interception! Jarrett Bush! Jarrett Bush? Gotta be some mistake. You mean the Jarrett Bush who rivals Ahmad Carroll as worst defensive back in the history of mankind? You mean the Jarrett Bush that gets burned even by putting his hand on a room temperature piece of papers? YES. SLAB! I love you, Jarrett. Never doubted you for a second, buddy.

OK, but can the Packers capitalize? They do. Rodgers to Greg Jennings over the middle, and Jennings gets walloped by Troy Polamalu.

SLAB. 21-3. 21-3! Over my most hated opponent in all of sports? Simply stunning.

Things can’t remain this good for my team, though. I see Donald Driver out with an injury. Sam Shields goes down with a shoulder injury. And then Charles Woodson goes down with a shoulder injury. Wow. Really? This is happening to my team. At the Super Bowl. Three critical players all injured. They had enough injuries in the regular season to last a decade.

Maybe they can play after halftime, though. The score is 21-10. Then the reports come in: Driver, questionable. Shields, questionable. Woodson, out. WHAT?! WOODSON OUT? This can’t be. A broken collarbone.

It’s over. Give the title to Pittsburgh. The defense has now reverted back to the 2009 days when Roethlisberger threw for over 500 yards against the Packers.

I change my hat back to backwards to try to regain some of the first quarter magic.

And it starts. The Packers can’t get anything going on offense in the third quarter, and Pittsburgh scores on their first possession. 21-17, just like that. I reminisce about the 21-3 lead. It was so young. Where does the hour go?

Enough of the backwards hat. Let’s go sideways to the left.

Pittsburgh starts driving at the end of the third quarter and I’m feeling awful. As far as I’m considered, the entire East Coast was just hit with a tsunami of pessimism. I think ahead.

“Can I really make it through a year (a lifetime, really) of Steelers fans bringing up this game?”

“Why am I a fan of teams who constantly choke on the big stage?”

“Why isn’t Roethlisberger in jail?”

“FML.”

But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is Clay Matthews and his hair is the Sun!

Forced fumble by the Claymaker! Packers recover! SLAB.

It would be stellar for my heart health for the Packers to score a touchdown here. But it’s now 3rd and 10. Hopefully they can gain a bit of ground for a coffin corner punt. Jordy Nelson says No. He catches a pass and takes it 38 yards to the Steelers 2. Rejoice.

Two plays later it’s a touchdown to Jennings. Putting the team on his back! 28-17. I can live with an 11-point lead this late in the game. Well, 4:23 later, Pittsburgh scores. AND they make the two-point conversion. 28-25. Wow.

If you’ve learned anything so far, you know where my mind’s at.

“W”

“H”

“Y”

“?”

Yes, I think one character at a time in situations so dire.

Time for another hat change. Sideways and to the right (which would be the last position it would be in).

Next drive, the Packers are looking at a 3-and-out. Here it is. The breaking point. Pittsburgh will take the next drive and go up 32-28. Watch. WATCH.

Nope. Rodgers on another 3rd and 10 completes to Jennings for 31 yards. Man, Rodgers is good. How is he doing this? How is he not throwing late-game interceptions that cost playoff games?

Now with 1st and Goal, I’m feeling optimistic for the first time. We’ve been scoring touchdowns easily. No way they stop us and make us a kick a field goal. NO WAY I TELL YOU.

“…And Crosby makes it 31-25 with a 23-yard field goal.”

This is why I can’t have nice things. No more optimism pour moi.

I’ve seen this situation before. If the Steelers score, they win by one point. December 2009. Steelers defeat Packers, 37-36. Ah yes, of course.

So here we go. Go ahead Roethlisberger. Two minutes left. I know you will drive them down to at least the Packers 20. You’ll probably have a good 45 seconds left too. Stick the dagger in me now, America.

Easy pass to Heath Miller for 15 yards. Yep, I told you. Five-yard pass to Hines Ward. Here it is, setting something up. Incomplete pass. That means nothing. Here comes the deep ball. Incomplete deep ball. Whoa. What’s going on? It’s 4th down ALREADY? Eh, no sweat. Go ahead Ben, make this the first of 3 fourth downs you convert on the game-winning drive.

Incomplete pass.

SLAB. SLAB. SLAB. I break my bed. Bedlam. I cannot believe…what I just saw. Super Bowl Champs! Wait, is there a flag? No flag! Super Bowl Champs! We just beat the freakin’ Steelers!

There was about a full two minutes of yelling in excitement before I settled down to watch the trophy presentation. Nothing but smiles on my end. I patiently waited to see the only commercial I want to see: “Packers fans! Your team just won the Super Bowl! Here’s your chance to own…” When it finally came on, the victory just barely started to sink in.

The Aaron Rodgers “I’m going to Disney World!” commercial came on the next day and it became more real.

What a great feeling. And the feeling won’t leave for another year. That’s a great feeling about another great feeling. Sorry, that’s confusing.

Anyway, that was my stream of consciousness during the game. My voice was raspy a couple days later, and I probably burst a few blood cells.

It was worth it.

Oh, and the hat? That’s all true. I changed right around those times.

Crazy isn’t it?

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February 11, 2011 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Guest Column: What is Too Much?

Nathan Skytta pops back in to give us his thoughts on blows to the head in the NHL.

Since the early days of the National Hockey League, the sport has been known for its intensity and its feistiness, but since the turn of the decade, the intensity in hockey has increased dramatically. There comes a point in time when the league has to draw a line between right and wrong.

On Feb. 21, 2000, Marty McSorley, while playing for the Boston Bruins, swung his stick with three seconds left in the game and hit Donald Brashear, who fell backwards and hit his head on the ice and sustained a Grade 3 concussion.

During a Sunday afternoon game on March 7, this year, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke hit Boston Bruins Marc Savard in the head with a shoulder check. Savard sustained a concussion and has not skated since. He is missing key games for his team as they fight for their lives in the NHL playoffs and yet, Matt Cooke is able to play for his team in the playoffs. Something is just not right about that, and the NHL commissioner’s office needs to set forth rules and regulations when it comes to blow to the head.

Hockey players are becoming faster, more skillful and bigger, and there is no way the equipment provided can protect the players from the vicious blows and hits that their body takes during a game. As it is now, there’s a higher risk of injuring a player by blindsiding them against the boards or even while they are skating across center ice.

An unwritten rule in hockey is that a player is not supposed to skate through the center of the ice with their head down. Doing this may lead to a crushing hit from an opposing player or a turnover — both things a player carrying the puck would prefer not to happen.

Right now, there is no rule in hockey that says hits to the head are illegal, but many players have been fined and sometimes suspended for their rough play. This punishment hasn’t stopped players from putting an opposing player into the boards.

The NHL needs to implement a rule against blows to the head before it’s too late and before someone gets permanently injured from a cheap shot.

Marc Savard was carried off on a stretcher after being hit in the head by Matt Cooke.

Out of the four major sports, those being the NHL, NBA, MLB and NFL, the NHL need the rules for blows to the head the most. In the MLB, if a pitcher purposely throws a pitch at the head of an opposing player, odds are they will be ejected and suspended for at least one start.

In the NBA if a player hits an opposing player in the head, odds are they will be suspended as well — just ask Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics, who is missing game two of the NBA playoffs because he elbowed an opponent during an altercation.

In the NFL, the league has done everything possible to make the helmets as “concussion-proof.” Hits to the head in the NFL, especially on a quarterback, are illegal and can cost a player some dough and some time off the field.

The NHL and the NHL Players’ Association need to sit down, clearly look at the risks of blows to the head and realize that they are putting the player in danger every time a player is against the glass fighting for a loose puck. Yes, big hits are good for the game and get the fans out of their seats and onto their feet, but what the NHL needs to figure out is what is too much.

Currently, there is a temporary ruling that allows the league to punish players for hits to the head on unsuspecting players, but that only lasts until the end of the season. The league needs to be stronger on the punishments. Cooke was allowed to return to the ice after a two-game suspension for his hit to the head of Savard, but Savard has not played since. The suspension process needs to be changed in order to make the player think about hitting an opponent in the head.

If a player purposely hits an opposing player in the head, have different suspension lengths like the MLB has for steroid users. The first time a player hits an opponent in the head, or even up high, suspended him for two or three games and fine him a certain amount.

If that does not teach a player to control his antics on the ice and he hits another opposing player, then suspend him for fifteen or twenty games and have him meet with the commissioner and the league before returning to the ice.

If the player then commits the actions again, then suspend him for the rest of the season.

Hits to the head can be not only career-threatening but possibly life-threatening as well. Detroit Red Wings defenseman Andreas Lilja missed almost the entire regular season, and a year of hockey, after sustaining a concussion during the 2008-2009 hockey season. It took Lilja almost an entire year to recover completely and to regain the strength and courage to step foot on the ice again.

Who knows if the hit that Savard took will end his career or not, but if the league had a concrete rule about hits to the head, then maybe Savard could be helping his team right now in the playoffs and not wondering when he will be able to play again.

The NHL needs to sit down and clearly look at all its options. Do they want the game to continue on the path it’s on now and have the chance of a player getting injured, or do they want players to have to suffer the consequences of blind-siding an opponent? The NHLPA is fully onboard with implementing rules that involve hits to the head. Now the NHL needs to get on board and come up with something before it is too late.

–Nathan

April 19, 2010 Posted by | Hockey | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Guest Column: NHL First-Round Predictions

Nathan Skytta is back again — this time with predictions for the first round of the NHL playoffs.

For the first time in almost 20 years, the Detroit Red Wings will not start their run towards the Stanley Cup at home in front of the fans at Joe Louis Arena. In a season that was plagued with injuries, featured a rookie between the pipes, and contained league diversity with no real powerhouse, the Wings struggled out of the gates.

Led by gold medal winning head coach Mike Babcock and a plethora of skill and determination, the Wings overcame their injuries and got their lineup back together. Oh and that rookie in net? Well, he turned out to be a possible rookie of the year finalist.

The Wings finished fifth in the conference and are going to take on the fourth-seeded Phoenix Coyotes, in the first round of the playoffs. The Coyotes will put up a challenge for the Wings, but after finishing the season as one of the hottest teams in the league, the Wings should be favored in advance.

RED WINGS IN SIX.

In another matchup in the Western Conference, it’s the No. 1 San Jose Sharks versus No. 8 Colorado Avalanche — a matchup that will be worth watching. The Sharks barely missed having to face Detroit, but the road to the second round didn’t get any easier when they were paired up against the Avs. The Sharks need to be on their ‘A’ game in order to have any chance of advancing.

SHARKS IN SIX.

The No. 2 Chicago Blackhawks will take on the No. 7 Nashville Predators. This may be the highest scoring series out of the eight first round playoffs because each team has struggling goaltenders and stars that can put up big numbers when given the chance.

PREDATORS IN SIX.

In the last Western series, it will be the No. 3 Vancouver Canucks facing off against one of the scariest teams in the league, the No. 6 Los Angeles Kings. Both of these teams have great goaltending, but it will be the matchup of the Kings defense against the all-star duo of the Sedin twins that determines who comes out victorious.

The Kings are the Cinderella team of the NHL this season and are unpredictable, so this series is one worth watching.

KINGS IN SEVEN.

In the Eastern Conference, it’s the President’s Trophy winning Washington Capitals versus the Montreal Canadiens. This matchup pits Capitals starting goaltender Jose Theodore against his former mates from Montreal.  The Capitals have too much firepower for the Canadiens and should win this series convincingly.

CAPITALS IN FIVE.

Future Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur will lead his No. 2 New Jersey Devils against the No. 7 Philadelphia Flyers, in hopes of clinching another Stanley Cup title. This is the time of year where Brodeur seems to always step up his game — just what any team wants to hear when facing the goaltender with the most wins in NHL history.

DEVILS IN FIVE.

Silver medal-winning goaltender Ryan Miller and his Buffalo Sabres face the Boston Bruins and their rookie goaltender Tuukka Rask. The Bruins are going to have a challenge beating Miller and his teammates, so the Sabres should easily win this series, but at this time of year, anything is possible.

SABRES IN SEVEN.

Last but not least, it’s the No. 4 Pittsburgh Penguins versus the No. 5 Ottawa Senators. Both teams struggled down the stretch, but the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Penguins should advance. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin should lead the charge against the Senators, who lost their star Alex Kovalev to a torn anterior cruciate ligament this past week. The Senators have a challenge ahead of them, but hopefully they can make it an interesting series.

PENGUINS IN FIVE.

Anything can happen in the first round of the NHL playoffs, so tune in and see some of the exciting hockey that the last 16 teams in the league have to offer. Versus and NBC will have all the coverage starting Wed., April 14.

–Nathan

April 14, 2010 Posted by | Hockey | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My NHL Playoffs Preview

It’s that time of year again for 16 teams to lace up the skates and compete for the most coveted trophy in sports: the Stanley Cup. No postseason compares to the NHL playoffs — the speed, the excitement, the will to win it all.

The Eastern Conference features a lot of the same faces this time around like Pittsburgh, New Jersey and Washington. The Western Conference showcases some fresh faces with Phoenix, Los Angeles and Colorado. Pittsburgh and Detroit have faced off in the Finals the last two years, and a three-peat isn’t quite out of the question. Series by series, here are the matchups and predictions.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

No. 1 Washington vs. No. 8 Montreal

The Capitals put up 121 points and 54 wins this season and are bulldozing through their opponents. If Alexander Ovechkin didn’t miss time from injuries and suspensions, he would probably have won the races for goals and total points. But this team is going to need a goalie to lead them to the promise land. On the heels of a stellar comeback-type season, goalie Jose Theodore will get an easy first matchup against Montreal. Montreal will wish they had never made the playoffs.

WASHINGTON IN FOUR.

No. 2 New Jersey vs. No. 7 Philadelphia

Has there been a more confusing team this year than the Flyers? Pegged by many to reach the Stanley Cup Finals, they’ve been in disarray throughout the season. Starting goalie Ray Emery didn’t pan out and ended up injured and out for the season. Captain Mike Richards is going to need to put the team on his shoulders once again. And it’s no surprise the Devils are here. Last season, the Devils were ousted by an upstart Carolina team, but it’s hard to see that happening again. It will be a tough series, though.

NEW JERSEY IN SEVEN.

No. 3 Buffalo vs. No. 6 Boston

It’s hard to believe it was just last year when Boston made it to the Conference Finals. Since then, they traded Phil Kessel and lost Marc Savard to injury, which put their offense in a serious grind. It didn’t help goalie Tim Thomas struggled mightily, but now they have 23-year-old Tuukka Rask who suffocated opponents with a 1.97 goals against average and a .931 save percentage. The goalie on the other side is no slouch either — USA starter Ryan Miller. This series comes down to whom can put the puck in the net. Buffalo has 12 players with 10 goals or more, and Boston’s leading goal-scorer has just 22.

BUFFALO IN SIX.

No. 4 Pittsburgh vs. No. 5 Ottawa

The defending Stanley Cup Champion Penguins find themselves facing a somewhat surprising Ottawa team. With all the talent Pittsburgh has, it’s a mystery as to why they never compete for a top seed. But the regular season doesn’t matter anymore, of course. This is where the Penguins excel having been to the Stanley Cup Finals two years in a row. The Senators were already overmatched, and now after losing Alexei Kovalev for the year from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, the Sens are the dead horse preparing to be beaten.

PITTSBURGH IN FIVE.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

No. 1 San Jose vs. No. 8 Colorado

If there’s any NHL topic that’s been exhausted, it’s the playoff woes of the Sharks. They dodged a bullet in not having to face a red-hot Detroit team. The Sharks shouldn’t have any problem taking out the Avalanche early. The Avs haven’t played well since the Olympic break, goalie Craig Anderson’s massive workload has caught up to him, and key players Peter Mueller and Matt Duchene are recovering from injuries. With that being said, the Sharks still don’t have the confidence to sweep a team in the playoffs or beat them in five games. San Jose will take the series, but not without shooting themselves in the foot a couple times.

SAN JOSE IN SIX.

No. 2 Chicago vs. No. 7 Nashville

This could get ugly really fast. Chicago must be disappointed with blowing a golden opportunity in the last game of the season against Detroit. If they won, it would have meant a number one seed and home ice advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs. That puts Nashville right in the crosshairs of an angry team led by seemingly-always disgruntled coach Joel Quenneville. The Predators have heart, though, and they never quit. Despite the high probability of being skinned alive, Nashville will give it all they have.

CHICAGO IN FIVE.

No. 3 Vancouver vs. No. 6 Los Angeles

Of the eight Western Conference playoff teams, only Vancouver has a losing record away from their building. This gives the Kings a chance to pull off maybe the only upset of the first round. Los Angeles has a young core of players similar to what Chicago has. The Kings have players like Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar that can keep them a playoff threat for many years to come. For Vancouver, it’s all about goalie Roberto Luongo and twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin. If you stop the Sedins, you’ll win. It’s a simple concept, but few teams can accomplish it.

LOS ANGELES IN SEVEN.

No. 4 Phoenix vs. No. 5 Detroit

Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t a typo. The Coyotes really are in the playoffs and a fourth seed no less. They shocked the hockey world after being in fire and brimstone the last several years. Ownership questions, gambling scandals and relocation considerations bogged down this franchise. But with new coach Dave Tippett, Phoenix got revitalized and finished with 50 wins and 107 points. Their reward? The hottest team since the Olympic break. Near the midpoint of the season, the Red Wings were out of the playoffs dealing with a stockpile of injuries. But they’re back to Stanley Cup form and are once again dangerous. The Western Conference can only hope Phoenix can pull a miracle and oust Detroit. But let’s be real. This is Detroit and these are the playoffs.

DETROIT IN SIX.

–Ray

April 14, 2010 Posted by | Hockey | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inside the Shark Cage, Vol. 20

Quite the amazing performance by the Sharks in their dominant 5-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. My hatred for the Penguins may only be matched by my hatred for the Detroit Red Wings, and to see the Penguins demolished was beyond gratifying.

Where to start?

I was definitely wrong about Evgeni Nabokov. I don’t know what conditioning regiment this guy is on, but put the entire team on it. Three games in four nights and he comes out with a shutout. He stopped all 27 shots he faced. Wow. Can’t give him enough credit.

San Jose battled for every puck and came out with it most of the time. No one relaxed much — even after gaining a 4-0 advantage going into the third period.

Jamie McGinn scored the first goal from a bank-in off Marc-Andre Fleury’s left pad. You could feel something good was going to happen the whole night.

Joe Pavelski, yes, Joe Pavelski, finally came back to the lineup tonight after being out since the second game of the year. He didn’t disappoint. He put up two points (one goal, one assist) and didn’t have much rust. His assist really should have been a goal; the puck was headed in, but Dany Heatley slammed it home when the puck was about one inch from the goal line. Gotta love Heater!

Dan Boyle owned the ice tonight. It was his. No disputing that. He continuously carried the puck from the defensive zone all the way to the net for scoring chances. It looks like that broken thumb is fully healed, and he’s on a mission to contribute. One of those times coming down the ice, he deked a few Pens and snapped a shot past Fleury.  That was the end of Fleury, who was pulled right after. He allowed three goals on 14 shots.

Pittsburgh mailed it in during the third with some late hits and a few scrums. They became frustrated and tried taking it out on Sharks tough guys. Yea, not a good idea. Jay McKee made a run at Jody Shelley, who wasn’t really looking. The two dropped the gloves and Shelley ended up taking McKee down. Well, you think that would be the end for Shelley. He did his job, and can resume his role in the fourth line. Oh, contraire.

Eric Godard tried his hand at Shelley and Mr. Shelley handed Godard’s derriere to him on a bloodied, silver platter. Jersey jabs and right hooks galore from Shelley. Thank you! Come again!

Picture 10

After Joe Pavelski's original shot, Dany Heatley slams the puck home (From SJSHARKS.com)

Jordan Staal, much to Sharks fans’ amazement, took a few runs and delivered an elbow to Douglas Murray. Staal better watch himself in the parking lot. I may not be a big fan of Murray’s, but to deny his skills in fighting and toughness would be ignorant. Come on now Staal. You can’t bring your peach fuzz to a swedish meatball fight.

I got a little worried when the Sharks weren’t putting more goals in. They seemed to be a bit complacent for a stretch in the third, but it was those scrums that fired them back up. So, that would be the only criticism of the night.

I also saw Logan Couture on the penalty kill unit. Can’t say I’ve seen him on it before, but I like he’s getting more ice time. I read that he did move up a couple lines last game to play with Patrick Marleau and Manny Malhotra. Good to hear. (Malhotra, by the way, scored the fifth goal tonight on a shot through a bunch of traffic.)

Home Power Play

The Sharks ranked last in power play efficiency at home, somewhere around five percent. They netted two goals on the man advantage tonight. The entries and forecheck looked better tonight. Passes were sloppy, however, leading to Penguins clears and breakouts.

Injury Bug

NHL GameCenter Live used Pittsburgh’s feed and all the commentators would talk about is how injuries caused their recent play. Give me a break. Take a look at the Sharks who’ve been playing with five key players missing from their lineup, and they still managed to win six in a row. The Penguins just didn’t show effort tonight and looked awful. It won’t kill you to say that.

Other Notes

Hit-O-Meter: SJ 19  PIT 25; Scott Nichol and Murray both led with three hits a piece.

Sidney Crosby now has just one point in four games against the Sharks. Isn’t that great? San Jose has his number, and the Penguins’ number for that matter.

San Jose lost the faceoff battle. They lead the league in faceoff percentage with 56.8, and for them to lose to 19th-ranked Pittsburgh is surprising.

The Sharks get two days off before facing Nashville on Tuesday. The Sharks will look to extend their point-streak to nine games.

–Ray

November 8, 2009 Posted by | Hockey | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Hate Pennsylvania

The whole state of Pennsylvania. It’s full of the luckiest teams in the world and most annoying players.

Waaaaaaaaa Im such a Big Baby!

The Steelers are THE worst team to ever win the Super Bowl and they’ve done it twice in the 2000s. No, it is not skill. They barely win games, either by refs or magical lucky comebacks. Of course, fans will say that’s why their good– “They win, it doesn’t matter how.” Well, I’m not a fan, so I can say what I want, as you can. Ben Roethlisberger is a terrible quarterback. Fact. I hope Troy Polamalu is out for the season after his injury tonight that way I don’t have to hear the constant media coverage of his hair and playmaking ability. Not to mention Troy went to USC, which is just as bad as Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania.

This speaks for itself

This speaks for itself

The Penguins are also THE worst team to win the Stanley Cup. Give me statistics all you want, but I will still say Marc-Andre Fleury is the worst goalie to win it. Sidney Crosby is just an overall buttwipe in all aspects of life. Now, NBC and the NHL will promote him even more after he won the Cup. The whole Penguins team is soft and are not deserving of such an amazing trophy.

The Eagles are so freaking annoying. I’m tired of them winning and McNabb. Fans will always call you jealous for saying that but whatever. Let’s have a new team in the playoffs. Like the Cardinals! More of them!

Just ban Pennsylvania from pro sports. Life would be amazing.

Hi everyzbodyz! I iz doNoVaN :) I go to de special skool hehe

"Hi everyzbodyz! I iz doNoVaN 🙂 I go to de special skool hehe

September 11, 2009 Posted by | Football, Hockey | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

WTHWWT – Week 10 (Nathan)

Wow. Its November and before you know it Thanksgiving will be here and then Christmas then 2009.. Wow. Where is time going!?!?

Cleveland Browns 30 vs. Denver Broncos 34- Good job Brady Quinn, too bad your defense blows. I gave the Browns the advantage being at home, but once again Epic Fail.

Detroit Lions 14 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars 38- I gave the Lions a chance… mistake made! I can sum up the Lions in one word… SCREWED!

New Orleans Saints 20 vs. Atlanta Falcons 34- This game could have gone either way. I was hoping Drew Brees would out play Matt Ryan, but once again Epic Fail!

Indianapolis Colts 24 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers 20- Another game could have gone either way. I knew if I picked the Steelers they would lose and I figured that would be the best option. I’d rather write about them losing then see them win!

Time to go get that teaching degree.

Go Pack Go

Dr. Whadupcuh!

November 12, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment