| Hockey Odyssey -
1/29/07 - By Jess Knaster
Rackin' frackin' Roberto
Luongo. Sharks put out another pretty decent effort, record 40 shots, a few
great scoring chances, and they have the two points stolen from them by some
schmoe who stands on his head in the blue paint on the other side of the ice.
Ok, so maybe Luongo isn't exactly a schmoe (he did start for the Western
Conference in the All-Star Game last week), but he did stand on his head to get
the win for the Orca-nucks.
On the other end of the ice stood Evgeni
Nabokov, a bit of a tough luck loser, facing 23 shots, and only letting in 2
(first one on a breakaway, second one was chopped as it was rolling, and
floated up and in). Joe Pavelski (Milan Michalek, Christian Ehrhoff) had the
lone goal for the Sharks, a pretty garbage goal (oxymoron), whacked in with a
backhand while falling down about 15 feet out.
It may not mean much, the Sharks have lost just 3 games in their last 11, and
Nabokov has been in net for all 3 of them. Now, in defense of Nabby, the Sharks
have only scored 3 goals in those 3 losses. Another number I found interesting:
The Vancouver Canucks have now been outshot for the 13th consecutive game, and
are 10-3 in that span. With a goalie like Luongo, who might as well play above
a local peewee netminder on the depth charts (and pretty much plays with no
backup. When asked, quite a few Canuck fans didn't know who the backup was),
it'll be interesting to see what would happen to the Canucks should he go down
with an injury, or just get fatigued during the stretch run.
As in Edmonton, the fans in Vancouver are pretty nice, a bit more drunk and
subsequently rowdy (or maybe I just got lucky to have them in my section in
both games here), but still pretty nice. I talked with a couple guys during the
intermissions (can't believe I didn't ask for your names to put on the blog
here), and they even bought me a beer at the second intermission (thank you
I sat next to a nice couple, who even shared their insanely
large bag (think grocery bag) of popcorn with me. There were a few drunks who
tried to tell me that the Sharks sucked, and the Canucks were way better, but
they all had a tough time telling me how many more Cups the 'Nucks have won
(the answer is 0, neither team has won a Cup).
Unlike most other cities, there were a GREAT deal of Sharks fans in the Garage
(GM Place) on this evening. Quite a few made the trip up from SJ, including
Greg, a long time buddy of mine who doubled a hockey game into a weekend of
visiting family. Surprisingly, there were also a bunch of locals (Victoria
Island isn't too far) who came for the game, which didn't turn out too great
this time around (we got 'em in October though).
As I write this, I'm just a few hours (about 4.5, to be exact) from returning
to the states, and the nice, lovely, above freezing temperatures of home (Nor
Cal will never be considered cold in my mind EVER again). The Sharks open a
four game homestand before being gone for almost the whole rest of February
(but we'll get to that next week) Tuesday night when they play the first of two
consecutive home games against the Dallas Stars (7:30 pst). The season series
is knotted at 2, with each team taking a game at home and on the road. As I
write this, the Sharks have a 6 point lead over the Stars, and are even in
games played. By Friday morning, either team could see a huge benefit from this
schedule abnormality, but, we'll just have to see what happens.
Go Sharks (I officially veto the Luongo-Bertuzzi trade from this off-season, it
should take effect immediately)
Contact Jess at firstname.lastname@example.org
blog Sharks Hockey Odyssey
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