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Points of interest
All over the Sharks spectrum
1/6/08 - By Mike Lee

In my commitment to contribute more editorial comments on the site, here is the latest set of content from yours truly. I touch on a number of topics this week, not in any order, or completely dedicated to the Sharks. Be sure to let me know what you think.

The Winter Classic

So I actually ended up watching some of the NHL's latest gimmick to market the sport, albeit on the day that most Americans are either sobering up from a long night of drinking and revelry, or watching college football. I'm still not sure I agree with trying to compete for American TV viewers during one of the biggest sports television viewing days of the year, but by all accounts, the WC did ok.

To be honest, I watched the first period, then found something more important to do. The goal in the opening minute probably did a lot to hold the interest of television viewers, but the game ending in a 1-1 tie after regulation and overtime was a disaster. It said to the casual American viewer that hockey is no more exciting than soccer. Now, before you lambaste me on soccer, it's an exciting game if you understand the nuances. To the casual viewer, watching Astroturf grow is more titillating.

JR Shoots His Mouth

When reports of Jeremy Roenick ripping his teammates in practice two weeks ago hit the rumor mill, my first reaction was that since is was the rumor mill, it's probably BS. Then it was validated by the Sharks own television broadcast team. Once I heard that, my reaction was, it's about time. After all, isn't that the reason Doug Wilson brought Roenick to San Jose?

7 goals in 34 games is about what I expected from JR, but more importantly, I expected this guy to kick some tail when it comes to leading by example. At the midpoint of the season I have to say that Wilson knew what he was doing when he brought the tired retread to fill his roster. I expected Roenick to be a disaster frankly, but the guy has been nothing but a model citizen…at least publicly. Since the tongue lashing Roenick dished out, the Sharks are at least playing with some fire. Guys are starting to take exception to anyone getting near Evgeni Nabokov, and there is a little more jump in everyone's step. Keep it up JR.

Cheechoo's Groin

Lest we forget, the Sharks are less than two years removed from having a Rocket Richard Trophy winner, but Jonathan Cheechoo has been nothing Richard-esque this season. His numbers suggest that he's not even close to being recovered from the groin injury that he suffered at the end of last season. The rigors of an 82-game NHL season certainly don't make it any easier to recuperate.

It'll be interesting to see what the Sharks do with Cheechoo's nether region. Once Ryan Clowe returns, do they try and rest Cheechoo for the playoff run, so that he can really and try to recover, or do they drag him along for the ride. With the recent influx in offense across the board, here's hoping they rest him. Bringing Devin Setoguchi back also gives San Jose some options.

All Stars?

The NHL All Star Game is three weeks away, but ask anyone where the Sharks stand and they'd be hard pressed to give you an answer. NHL.com makes it impossible to find out what the current vote counts are for NHL stars. As of December 10th Joe Thornton and Cheechoo ranked 6th & 7th respectively among Western Conference forwards. Nabokov ranked 7th among Western Conference goaltenders in fan voting.

Cheechoo has no business even being on the ballot after his shaky 2006-07 season, and his first half has done nothing to warrant consideration for the mid-season showcase of the NHL's best. Thornton has no business being ranked behind Joe Sakic and Mike Cammalleri. Sakic has been out of the Avalanche lineup for almost a month and a half and Cammalleri's Kings are vying for the 1st pick in the NHL Entry Draft come June.

All Star voting and voting results should be front & center on NHL.com, but alas, its yet another sign of how ill prepared the league is at marketing itself. Go figure.



Contact Mike at at sharknews@yahoo.com




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