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The Day After
Notes and ponderings from the Stadium Series
2/22/15 - By Mike Lee -

Some day after the Stadium Series game notes to wrap up the greatest spectacle in Santa Clara sports history. It was a long day, an eventful day, a disappointing day in the end, but a day full of observations and ponderings.

- Still absorbing the fact that the Sharks offense was AWOL last night. Live, they looked tentative for more of the 1st and 3rd periods, which is tough if you're not scoring 6 goals in the middle period.

- The Kings experience gained from their loss to the Ducks in the outdoor game at Dodger Stadium last year proved invaluable. It was one thing I thought would hinder the Sharks. Of course winning 6 games in a row leading up to the game helped.

- By virtue of losing, the Sharks are outside of a playoff spot. After Minnesota won today, San Jose now actually has the 10th best record in the Western Conference. The emphasis on Saturday night being a 4 point game could not have been more significant. Todd McLellan tried to downplay the loss as a season killer, but the fact is, his team's performance isn't exuding much confidence.

- Jonathan Quick quietly continued to frustrate the Sharks. San Jose didn't do themselves an favors by refusing to force matters in front of the crease until it was too late, but Quick also made several big saves to give his team a chance to win. Los Angeles didn't exactly light up the scoreboard, but they find ways to win. Good teams do that.

On the event itself...

- One theme I keep hearing is how many people were drunk at the Stadium Series game. It was like the Mardi Gras of Hockey!

- From the looks of the parking lot at midnight when I left the stadium, it was easy to understand. It was littered with empty cans and bottles.

- Answers the question of why the Sharks don't allow tailgating at SAP Center: Drunk people filing into the arena NOT buying the house beer!

- I will contest that the atmosphere was electric. I do take exception to Todd McLellan's comments about the stadium not being louder than SAP Center because there was no roof on the building. It wasn't as loud because McLellan's team didn't give the crowd anything to cheer about!

- Props to the NHL for what was indeed a spectacle. The logistics were enormous, and everyone involved was doing their job in a foreign environment. It's tough enough to put on a hockey game, much less one that played host to 70k people in a place that doesn't normally host hockey games.

- A big thumbs down for the NHL's intermission performers. John Fogerty wasn't that bad, but Melissa Etheridge? Did the league assume that only people in their 60's could afford the $100 (or higher) ticket prices, therefore they needed to book acts that consisted of artists last relevant in the 60's! OK, Etheridge had a hit in the 80's so that's not exactly fair, but man, her act was painful.

- I thought it was interesting that Joe Thornton really has taken a back seat to dealing with the media. He was not a focal point in the locker room after the Friday practice or after the game. Not that anyone was in the mood to talk after a loss, but one of the benefits of not being captain, is that Thornton is not held accountable to talk to the media.

- Heard several accounts that VTA was one part of the equation that did not run as smoothly as the game. Many folks were late to the game due to buses simply not showing up. The ride home was a zoo, which isn't surprising since everyone was trying to get on the trains, where as that was more distributed earlier in the day as people made their way to the venue.

- The Fan Festival outside the stadium gets a C+for the simple fact that they were overwhelmed with the crowd. Too few booths, that couldn't move people throug fast enough. Props to the band that played throughout the event. It was nice that speakers were positioned up and down the festival, so you could hear them no matter where you were.

- On Twitter, one of the more amusing comments from a Kings fan was that "The Sharks are now the only California Team not to have won a Stanley Cup or an outdoor game". Keep the faith Sharks fans.




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