| Hockey Odyssey -
Too much Turco
By Jess Knaster
Despite its common use, the scoreboard told
two separate tales last night. The shots read 25-13 in the Sharks favor. If the
game was based on that alone, then I could be talking about the Sharks sixth
consecutive victory, and a perfect 4-0 roadtrip through cold weather and
hostile buildings. Instead, the goal count read the lowest it could read, 1-0
in the Stars favor.
It's true what they say about Texas, that everything is bigger, unfortunately
for the Sharks, on this night, Marty Turco was among one of those things. Just
as the Sharks have done a couple nights before, more shots doesn't always equal
more goals, and when you face a goaltender who comes up huge like Turco did,
then it doesn't necessarily matter how many shots you do take.
Turco made 25 saves for his third career shutout of the Teal and Mike Modano
recorded his 495th career goal in a game that saw very little offense, and very
little of anything else really. Turco made a few big saves on shots that, had
they been taken on a different netminder, or even been taken on a different
night, may well have otherwise gone in.
The other giant on this night, and always giant for that matter, is the monster
that sits right off the highway in downtown Dallas that goes by the name of the
American Airlines Center. The largest building in the history of the universe,
American Airlines, outside and in, looks like a high scale mansion.
Faux marble floors, high ceilings, wall-mounted sconces, hidden walkways. Upon
entering the AA Center, one might say, as did I, "Where the hell am I? This
can't be right." But right it was, as the sexily placed AA logos and the
occasional Stars or Mavericks (basketball) logo reassured me that I was in the
The concourses are pretty narrow, as they look more like hallways to a trendy
hotel than they do walkways to a sporting arena. Decorated fancily, it is quite
easy to get lost in this monstrous building.
The concessions are pretty basic. Downstairs has vastly larger options than
upstairs, as Pizza Hut and Subway are the resident chain concession stands.
The seating area is quite large, as the AA Center holds 20,000, when everybody
decides to show up (no more than 12 or 13,000 on this night). However, as high
as the seats go, the rafters and ceiling go much higher, making the building
look that much more massive from the outside. The lower level is obviously
tailored for basketball, as the corners are rotated rectangularly, rather than
the bend or curves found in most other arenas.
On this night, as I hope there will be for other Sharks/Stars contests, there
was plenty of teal in the stands, cheering on the Teal on the ice. One of these
was a friend of the blog, Josh, a reader and former Bay Area resident still
cheering for the Sharks out of the Dallas area. Even though they are young, his
kids are already becoming fans of the Fin. Josh is in charge of the North Texas
based Sharks fan club, aptly named DFW Sharks. Visit the myspace for DFW Sharks
Sharks return home for a 3 game stand that begins Thursday when the Colorado
Avalanche roll into town for a 7:30 contest. Nashville comes in on Saturday,
and the Phoenix Coyotes stroll in on Monday, the first night of a back-to-back
that sees the Sharks in L.A. on Tuesday, ending a stretch of 4 games in 6 days.
Go Sharks (go see a hockey game at the reasonably sized Shark Tank)
Contact Jess at
blog Sharks Hockey Odyssey
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