Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Sharks/Ducks...the aftermath

Anaheim Ducks Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Jesus, everyone take a breather after that game. Seriously, that had it all -- including especially mega-angry psycho woman fan behind me who seemed to think that curse words were normal for play-by-play commentary. She's also one of those blindly homer-ish fans, so even when the refs make a call against the Sharks that is a good call (like the idiotic too many men call), she screams bloody murder and everyone in my section looks at her and mutters under their breath.

Yes, and she's there all season. Woo hoo.

Anyways, this game really lived up to the hype. Two fantastic teams going toe to toe, a soft goal by each, power play tallies, and talent really shining through. Some key things to note:

  • Evgeni Nabokov really hadn't let up many soft goals this season so I was pretty surprised at the stinker that went in. Still, he saved the Sharks' bacon many, many times, so no complaints here about Nabby's performance.
  • Obviously, I don't watch nearly as many Ducks games as I watch Sharks games, but J.S. Giguere looked pretty uncomfortable any time one of the Sharks planted himself in front of the crease.
  • Patrick Marleau's one of the few players who can actually skate fast enough to catch up to Scott Niedermayer and stick check the puck away.
  • The Anaheim power play is ridiculously patient with Pronger and Niedermayer and it's really just not fair. I met two of my buddies at intermission; though first thing both of them said to me separately was lamenting about the unfairness of the Anaheim D.
  • The instant I turned to my dad and said, "Why is Mark Smith on the power play?" freakin' Smitty scores. That's why Ron Wilson's coaching and I'm not.
  • Mark Bell is shaking off the jersey curse. Sure, he's not putting up the points, but he's working hard, hitting hard, and his fight was the turning point of the game. Now if only he wouldn't look so damn tentative with the puck.
  • When did Andy MacDonald get so freakin' chippy?
  • When did Teemu Selanne grow the balls to start jawing at Joe Thornton? Teemu's a lover, not a fighter!
  • Watching the Anaheim D and the Sharks D was night and day. Sure, Matt Carle and Christian Ehrhoff show flashes of brilliance, but there's no comparison. Someone needs to replace Josh Gorges and soon. And Scott Hannan, you're on my shit list for all of your bad turnovers this season.
  • Spotted: one "Vote for Rory" t-shirt...on a pretty hot babe to boot!
  • Spotted: one freakishly creepy guy in a dirty stained Santa costume.
  • The Sharks fans were cheering outside the tank like they had just won a playoff series. Everyone relax; it's a regular season game...in December.
We've got six more games to go and I hope they're all entertaining like this one and not craptacular like the first game (Ducks fans enjoyed the victory, but that was some ugly hockey...at least this one was spirited).


VeryProudofYa said...

I agree with pretty much everything in this post.

Well, the Bell thing bugged me. O'Brien dominated the entire fight, and it actually looks like Bell is trying to get away when OB falls and Bell tags him two or three times while he's on his back. Hardly the kind of fight that should spur the team.

But then again, the sharks ended up winning, so, nevermind.

Also, McSorely is a bit more of a homer that I would've expected from someone who worked kings/ducks games between intermissions.

All in all, very exciting game. The rematch'll be fantastic.

PJ Swenson said...

Great game. Hope you don't mind me adding a photo.

I noticed Marleau backchecking on Niedermayer as well. Niedermayer was picking the puck off in the neutral zone and it would be an instant break in the other direction. He did it to Marleau and Patrick was fast enough to catch up to him and regain possession.

Also add Mike Grier's contribution. Not only are Grier and Brown killing penalties instead of the Sharks top line, but Grier is creating breakaways that lead to penalties every other game. Grier hammered Selanne so hard against the boards that the entrance door came off its latch.

Giguere ate Ehrhoff up on his breakaway, but J.S. telegraphed the fact that he was going to slide across the crease way too early. Before the season I mentioned that Pronger and Niedermayer were going to make Giguere look like Roy, but I was wrong. He looks better.

And the Mark Bell with O'Brien fight took place at the perfect opportunity. The Ducks were starting to roll, and at 2-0 the game was in danger of getting out of hand. Bell was tied up too much to get a lot of shots off, but a few of the blows that O'Brien landed were off Bell's back.

Nabokov always gets the start against the easier teams, eh?

Earl Sleek said...

I am literally salivating over the possibility of a best-of-seven BoC series this year.

(The only tragedy is that only one team gets to eliminate the Oilers on the way there...)

Anonymous said...

Good post. I have to take a bit of an issue with your Scott Hannan comment. I fell in love with the Behind the Net site since Sleek posted the link, and Hannan is the the top-rated Shark in that category. He is matched up against the top line almost every shift. Let's look at some other top D of division leaders. Steve Staios -5. Greg de Vries -6. I'm with you 100% on Gorges though. He's a tough kid that works hard, but a little skill might be nice.

And the Bell fight may have helped the Sharks, but Bell sure sucked in it. Kind of reminded me of the Davison-Boogard fight. Davison threw a couple at the beginning, then basically tried to twirl around in a circle and not get hit.

Temujin said...

The only tragedy is that only one team gets to eliminate the Oilers on the way there

That would be a feature, not a bug.

Ted said...

Good post. Yep it was a very entertaining game. Agree with comments except with the second lowest GAA in the entire league, I think the Sharks D, including Hannan, are doing their job.

Not to say they compare with Anaheim, or shine offensively. And now that I think about it, yes, you are right, in the games they lose, the D do turn it over a lot.