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

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Kings/Sharks Gameday: Damn Those Likeable Sharks!

Los Angeles Kings (26-36-14, 13th in West) vs. San Jose Sharks (46-26-4, 7th in West)

7:30 PST, FSN West & FSN Bay Area

A lot of my enjoyment as a hockey fan comes from hating other teams; I’ve probably spent more time in my life thinking about how much I hate the Ducks than I’ve thought about math. I have a horrible confession to make, however. It's my secret shame that I have kept hidden for years until now. There’s a team up north who I can’t quite bring myself to hate: the San Jose Sharks.

The problem with the Sharks is that they’re the type of team I’d cheer for if I weren’t a Kings fan. They don’t take many penalties (they’re 26th in that department so far this year), they’re all big, fast and young, and they have a fanbase that seems to genuinely care about the team. They have gotten good over the years through smart drafting (way to go, Lombardi) and key trades when they presented themselves. They've never really done anything wrong as an organization except boo the Canadian national anthem last year, but it could be argued that Edmonton started it. The only real beef I have with the Sharks is that they got rid of the Cleveland Barons (their old AHL affiliate) and their adorable aristoshark in favor of an affiliate in Worcester.


Even the players are somewhat likeable. I’ve always liked Joe Thornton for three reasons: one, he is probably the most unselfish player in the NHL; two, he seems like a funny guy in private (his interview along with Scott Thornton earlier this year was hilarious); and third, he has been denounced his entire career as a choker by the insane people of Boston. (He only has 104 points this season; I’m sure none of them were clutch.) It wouldn’t be fair to hate Patrick Marleau in the same way it would be unfair to hate a robot (besides, he’s friends with Kelly Hrudey), and I only really hate Jonathan Cheechoo because I have to hear how much he likes to eat moose every playoffs. The only person in the organization I don’t like is Ron Wilson, and that’s more because he used to be the Ducks’ coach than anything else.

Dammit, Joe, stop being likeable!

If anyone has a reason they hate the Sharks (other than their jerseys are teal), put them in the comments. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but it’s infuriating for me. I love making fun of other teams; I’d rather make fun of Alexei Yashin’s turtleneck than play with a litter of puppies. Sure, I can make jokes about Mark Bell being a drunk or Scott Hannan looking like a hobbit, but it’s not the same old-fashioned hate I get when I see Corey Perry or Matthew Barnaby. Damn those Sharks; I hate them so much because I can’t help but like them.

Prediction: The Sharks will win and I’ll grudgingly give them respect. Those bastards.


Earl Sleek said...

While yeah, the Sharks are generally a nice neighborly upstanding team, if you try hard enough there's reasons to dislike them:

a) (way back) when they traded Jeff Friesen for Teemu Selanne in a move that angered two cities and ruined two careers (only one of which ever rebounded).

b) The way they never trade for 'San Jose' Theodore, even though that makes a ton of marketing sense (but no hockey sense).

c) The way I never know which frickin' SJ goalie to draft for fantasy hockey, so inevitably somebody else grabs them both.

d) I can always muster up some hate for Bill Guerin.

e) I can never decide what should come first alphabetically, "San Jose" or "St. Louis".

Hey, but who needs reasons? I can hate anything with enough drinking.

Matt Navarre said...

At this point my hate is mostly left over from the Owen "Thug" Nolan/ Bryan "Knee Surgeon" Marchment years. But it's a strong hate.

Plus they beat Dallas for the Pacific division title a couple years back, so I hate them for that.

Plus Teal? Please.

And I don't think the ding on Thornton in Boston was he was a regular season choker, It was that he disappeared in the playoffs. Which: 46 GP 8-19-27 -14 Carreer Playoffs? And '03-'04 Playoffs for the B's? 7Gp 0-0-0 -6 after 73 points in 77 games +18 regular season? To quote Colby Cosh Where have you gone, Joe Thornton, Joe Thornton Where have you gone, Our pillow soft boy?"

Though it's arguable that with the 03-04 Bruins the entire team was Joe Thornton, so he didn't exactly have a lot to work with.

Plus, they play at the HP Pavilion and my HP printer just broke, So I hate them for that.

Doogie said...

Though it's arguable that with the 03-04 Bruins the entire team was Joe Thornton, so he didn't exactly have a lot to work with.

It's also arguable that Thornton had broken ribs that year, so you can kind of see why he didn't perform up to snuff.

Anonymous said...

I love the sharks, the whole organization is put together like a family and the environment of the team seems very positive. Great Fan support. My only beef is as much as I love Big Joe, I wish he would be more selfish sometimes. When he starts skating with that puck he can dance with the puck like any of the top puck handlers in the game today. His shot is awesome I wish he would use it more often and become a consistant 30 goal scorer and even out his game a little.