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New sheriff in town?
Michalek surfacing as new star
10/8/06 - By Paul Krill

Sure, it's way too early to be making these predictions, but I see a new sheriff in Shark Town , a new star who has arrived: Milan Michalek. His two goals and the ice show he put on in the opening 5-4 win against Saint Louis look to me like he could be the real deal this season. Also, he appears to have fully recovered from the devastating knee injury of a few seasons' back.

Last year, I thought Michalek was one of the most entertaining players on the Sharks, albeit one of the most frustrating to watch. He'd dazzle the crowd with his skating and then fail to finish the job by not scoring. Thursday night, however, could signal his arrival as a true NHL star.

Don't forget: Michalek was a consensus early first-round pick when the Sharks took him in the 2003 draft with the sixth selection. Then, he tore his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in the second game of his career. A torn ACL is one of the worst injuries for any athlete.

But I think this could be the year when the Sharks' investment in Michalek pays big dividends. We can all keep our fingers crossed.

Penalty shots…

Thursday's game certainly had some peculiar moments. There was the punctured board (I wasn't even aware that that was possible.). Also, a referee left a pool of blood on the ice after getting hit with a puck. Also, there also were two reviewed goals, neither working to the Sharks' favor. At least it all worked out in the end, although it was disappointing to let the Blues get away with a point when the Sharks were fewer than six seconds away from closing the deal in regulation time…

Joe Thornton looks to have picked up where he left off and is on pace for 240 points this year… The beginning of the game appeared as if it would end as most Sharks openers have - with the Sharks losing. But the Sharks got better as the game wore on.

Staying unscathed through 1:46 of a five-on-three disadvantage was the turning point of the evening… On Thursday night, I saw something I had never seen before at The Tank and had hoped I would never see: fans doing the wave. TV personality Jimmy Kimmel once said the Macarena has gone away, why won't the wave? I wonder the same thing…

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