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Hockey Hodge-Podge
An assortment of off-season banter
5/30/08 - By Steve Flores

Well here we are, the few, the proud, the true hockey faithful! Anyone checking onto The Feeder at this point is a true die-hard hockey fan and you are to be commended. As we all know the Stanley Cup Final's are under way and the Red Wings of Detroit are having their way with the upstart Pittsburgh Penguins two games to nil with the igloo birds still trying to find a way to their first goal.

The result of this final seemed pretty clear to most. I called it a Wings victory in five. I still think the Penguins will manage to score and win a game but the Motor City men are clearly the best team in the league and have been all season long.

Penguin phenom Sidney Crosby was spotted at a post game press conference inferring that the series hasn't been 'all that' one-sided. Well perhaps it hasn't been as dominant as the scores may be showing, but it's been pretty close to the scores. Not scoring a goal in two games is dominance. Sid-the kid can protest as much as he likes but the Wings are simply better.

But don't you fret ye ole Penguin fan as the Penguins are a team destined for titles. This year's version is young, exciting and loaded with talent. They remind many of the pre-Stanley Cup Edmonton Oilers of the early 1980's. It just so happens that I loved those early Oiler teams and I think that the comparison is pretty much on the mark. The Penguins have a few minor needs but the nucleus of a great team is already present and the team's management has show the willingness to go out and get a Marian Hossa in hopes of putting them over the top. The Penguins will be THE team to reckon with for the foreseeable future folks. Not this year, but very, very soon.

On the San Jose Shark front there has been no real news regarding the signing of a Head Coach. G.M. Doug Wilson did state that the list of applicants is well over forty and some of the candidates won't become officially available until after the season comes to its logical conclusion.

Names such as Pat Burns, Kevin Dineen, Joel Quenneville and Mike Haviland have all surfaced in columns across the hockey world. Quenneville was actually sighted on a flight to the Bay Area. I wouldn't make much of the sighting as I am certain DW is going to be interviewing several prospects for the head job before all is said and done. The latest rumor (via the keyboard of the San Jose Mercury News' Mark Purdy is that of Dineen.

Dineen coached the AHL's Portland Pirates to the Eastern Conference Final of the Calder Cup before losing in 7 games to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Dineen has the reputation as a nose to the grindstone kind of coach who is a true student of the game. Dineen is a member of a rather famous NHL family - he had a successful NHL career and he has been successful at the AHL level. It is a matter of time before he garners an NHL job. Will that first opportunity be with the Sharks? Call DW and ask him cuz I'd like to know also! ***

For those of you that may have missed it Stanley Cup Finals ratings are way up on Versus. In fact the Wings 4-0 win in game number two pulled a 1.8 national rating - that means over 2.3 million viewers in the US. The game was the highest ever for a Versus NHL telecast and also the highest rated championship round game in six years.

Throw those great numbers in with the fact that the Sharks numbers were up this year and we have a few pieces of proof that people are taking a bit more of an interest in the world's greatest game!

***

A few brief observations regarding the 'State of the Sharks' event which was held a week ago: Sharks President and CEO Greg Jamison was actually entertaining and opened with a nice comedic bit regarding his 'canned' answers per a morning column by Mark Purdy. Hey Purdy got two mentions in this column!!

There were also several repetitive questions and some that actually made several folks squirm in their seats trying to figure out what the heck some people were talking about! But I digress! At least someone did ask Jamison as to whether or not the Sharks will have a black jersey next season!! Yes! This was an important question. Oh yeah for those of you that care Jamison did answer short of yes but inferred that there was a pretty good possibility that the third jersey will be of the black variety!

***

Anyway, in closing I will make you aware that I will be putting some columns onto The Feeder in the off-season with any bits of Sharks or NHL news that I find may be worth your while. Many may come from sources north of the border but we shall try to keep you abreast of all that is hockey - even in the depressing off-season!



Contact Steve at stevybo@yahoo.com


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