Posts Tagged ‘San Jose Sharks’

Most Embarrassing Goal Celebration Ever

April 26, 2011

joe thornton overtime winner

As award finalists are being announced, an we have confirmation that Zdeno Chara is a Norris Trophy finalist and Tim Thomas is a Vezina Trophy finalist, the annual HGW Awards are taking shape as well.

Joe Thornton and his man-baby act from last night’s win over the L.A. Kings is the clear leader for the most Embarrassing, Cringeworthy Goal Celebration of the Year.

Maybe all time. Just disturbing to watch. It sends the Sharks to the next round and all I have to say to Joe is, hey, brother, act like you’ve been there before.

I mean, you have once or twice, right?


Tim Thomas Trade Talk

June 22, 2010

According to Joe Haggerty of the Bruins are in active discussions with at least three teams interested in acquiring the services of veteran goaltender Tim Thomas and that trading him, and his hefty $5 million dollar salary, has become priority number one this off-season when it comes to making deals.

“Sources also indicated both the San Jose Sharks and Tampa Bay Lightning are in the mix in discussions with the Bruins for Thomas, and the Philadelphia Flyers are also a potential suitor if they can shed some salary cap baggage leading up to the July 1 free agent deadline.”

None of this is a surprise given the reality of the Salary Cap age and the simple fact that the much younger Tuukka Rask has usurped the starter’s role in Boston with such authority, leading the NHL in both goals against average and saves percentage last season. Handing the reins to Tuukka in full and getting a cheaper back-up would clear some much needed room on what appears to be a restrictive payroll number for the team, as it stands.

The question remains as to how tradeable he is right now, however, given his age and recent hip surgery, not to mention a no-trade clause in his contract. Haggerty is citing sources saying these are not the stumbling blocks that many think they are.

“But several sources indicated Thomas’ surgery was minor in nature and general manager Peter Chiarelli said last week Thomas would be ready at the start of training camp. A second source indicated the likelihood is that Thomas will waive the no-trade if the right kind of deal comes along after putting up a perfectly serviceable 2.56 goals-against average and .915 save percentage along with five shutouts last season.”

I fully admit, I had landed in the doubters category when I heard about the off season surgery. I thought they’d be saddled with Tim’s contract for at least next season, if not longer. That there are clearly suitors out there willing to deal is a remarkable development and the onus is now on Chiarelli to get this done. As much as I like Tim Thomas, it’s very clear he has to go if the Bruins want to get better, a simple reality of the way the league is structured these days.

Interesting times, indeed. A lot of rumours swirling around the B’s this week leading up to Friday’s crucial Entry Draft. It certainly appears that the Bruins’ brass is out there trying to make things happen.

Let’s hope they have the brass where it counts, too.

Hawks and Flyers Rolling

May 19, 2010

Well, the Conference Finals haven’t had quite the drama of previous rounds up to this point, have they? After last night’s games both Chicago and Philadelphia have taken a 2-0 lead in their respective series and it certainly seems like each team has momentum on it’s side. I know it’s too early to really call it for either one and, given the way teams have come back in this year’s post-season, there’s still time for the Anything Can Happen clause to kick in.

I’ll make it clear, however, that this is the way I’d like it to continue. The Blackhawks, for whatever reason, have been one of my favorite alternate NHL teams to keep an eye on and this year’s squad is particularly fun to watch. Loaded with young talent, brash and cocky and original six. What’s not to like?

In the case of the East Final, Ancient Hatred has overcome Recent Heartbreak and I’m hoping the Flyers will trounce the Habs and put them back in their place on the lower rungs of the Conference. Everyone here is pretty sick of the Cinderella story at this point and it’s time for the Bleu Blanc et Rougettes to take a seat. To be honest, I can’t even watch this series for any prolonged period. The wounds are still too fresh.

Still, I’m looking for a Chicago-Philadelphia Stanley Cup Final and that won’t be a bad thing for the NHL or it’s fans. The talented Hawks versus the gritty, never say die Flyers. I would certainly give the Hawks the edge to win their first Cup since 1961, a drought over a decade longer than the Bruins’. Maybe that’s where some of the affinity I feel for the team comes from, as well.

Closing Time

May 12, 2010

A Seventh Game is an exciting thing. They’ll be playing one in Pittsburgh tonight where the Stanley Cup Champion Penguins will try to hold off the charge of the Underdog Who Won’t Go Away Montreal Canadiens. It’s likely to be an intense affair; exciting, hard-hitting, emotional. Everything on the line in one game. Every goal a potential game breaker. It will be fun to watch like most seventh games usually are.

That said, I don’t really want to see the Bruins play in one. I want them to wrap up their series tonight in Game 6 in Philadelphia and take all the drama right out of things. This being their third chance to end the series and move on to the Conference Finals, I think it’s about time they did so.

With the Blackhawks winning last night and advancing to meet San Jose in the Western Conference Finals, there’s a chance that the Final Four in the NHL could be set after tonight’s games if the Bruins can do their jobs. One way or the other, we’ll know the winner of the Habs-Pens series so that leaves only the B’s-Flyers with the potential for more action after this evening.

I’d rather it end tonight, thank you very much.

Rounding Second

April 29, 2010

Well, the good news is I went 7/8 on my first round predictions and the one I got wrong is likely the same one everyone outside the borders of Quebec got wrong as well. I’m not sure I accurately predicted the correct number of games in any of them, however. There were a number of teams that surprised me with how well they could hang with the powerhouses of the league. Whether it’s a case of overrating regular season performance or just the fact that anything can happen once the second season begins, it remains undeniable that the NHL Playoffs can be the most entertaining, exciting thing professional sports has to offer.

On to Round Two, where predictions become exponentially more difficult.

Detroit Red Wings vs San Jose Sharks – It begins tonight, seeming seconds after the first round finished up, and the same question that was asked at the beginning of that can be asked now. Is this the series where San Jose chokes? I’m going to say no. It’s not that it couldn’t happen against an excellent Detroit team that showed their talent level and experience in beating Phoenix in seven games but, the thing is, this isn’t Phoenix. San Jose is breathing a sigh of relief after surviving their series against the Avs and, one would think, have a renewed enthusiasm, a renewed hunger, for putting their best game on for this one. The place the balance gets tipped, though, is in goal I think. Evgeni Nabokov has played at a notably higher level than rookie Jimmy Howard so far in the playoffs and I sort of expect that to continue. I also like the Sharks’ complimentary players a lot better. Clowe, Pavelski and Setoguchi have been carrying the Sharks, especially Pavelski. Of course, Joe Thornton and his line will need to be better and Patrick Marleau’s injury will have to be something minor that allows him to return quickly and they’ll need a solution for Datsyuk and Zetterberg but it can happen. I’m thinking it will. Sharks in 6.

Vancouver Canucks vs Chicago Blackhawks – This one was a toughie for me initially because I’m looking at two teams that I think are just loaded with talent and I liked them both to be successful this post-season. Now that they’re up against each other, I find myself faced with my toughest pick of the playoffs so far. On offense, it’s the Sedin Twins and scoring machine Mikael Samuelsson versus the young guns of Chicago; Kane, Toews and Sharp, complimented by hired gun Marian Hossa. That’s a wash to me. On defense, Chicago might have the depth and scoring edge. In goal, Antti Niemi is still proving himself with the ‘Hawks but he really did play marvelously in round one against Nashville. And it’s no secret that I’m no Luongo guy. His 2.92 gaa and .893 svpct were, frankly, far below average and easily the worst for all surviving starting golatenders in the playoffs. Can you see the scales tipping the Chicago way? I sure can. Blackhawks in 7.

Montreal Canadiens vs Pittsburgh Penguins – Will the Cinderella story continue for the Montreal Men’s Skating Choir? Will Jaroslav Halak remain the Belle of the Ball? Can the Diving Princesses defeat Sid The Kid and The Malkin Monster to continue their amazing, storybook drive through the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs? No. Fucking. Way. In case people haven’t noticed, Halak may the the flavour of the moment but Crosby is the real deal. The legend just keeps building and, regardless of what the standings showed, he and his Defending Champs are the best team in the Eastern Conference until someone proves otherwise and this Habs team, however speedy and feisty, just aren’t at that level or anywhere near it. Expect the Penguins to march onward and do it with authority. Penguins in 5.

Look for an extended, more in-depth preview of the Bruins-Flyers series before the puck drops on Saturday afternoon.

I’ve stuck my neck out enough for one night.

So It Begins Again

April 14, 2010

The 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs begin tonight with four games on the schedule, four series opening up. For my money, it’s the most exciting time in sports. There is nothing I can think of, except perhaps the USA-Canada Olympic Hockey we saw this winter, that can compare with the NHL Playoffs for pure adrenaline riddled intensity, thrills and all out fun.

Not that other sports don’t have their moments, at times, but it just doesn’t measure up to me. Hockey players lay everything on the line, body and soul, each and every playoff game they play. The hittting, the scrums, the overtime games. Guys playing with injuries that would put your average MLB player on the 60 Day DL. I mean, the Boston Red Sox’ J.D. Drew will miss a week with a stiff neck. Your average 4th liner in the NHL would try to play with a broken one.

Previews and predictions for the series that start tonight:

    Ottawa Senators vs Pittsburgh Penguins – Defending Cup Champs versus one of the more irrelevant playoff teams in NHL history. For all their talent and aspirations over the years, what have the Senators ever accomplished in the post-season? Nothing, really. This year they’ll be playing without Alexei Kovalev, out for the season with a torn ACL, against a Pens team that might not be as powerful or hungry as last year’s but Sidney Crosby and Co. certainly have enough talent and experience to knock off a middling, impotent team like Ottawa. Penguins in 5.

    Philadelphia Flyers vs New Jersey Devils – This one is interesting to me. The Flyers will be riding the high of their last minute ticket to the Tourney via their final game shoot-out victory over the Rangers right into another heated series with a division rival. There will be bad blood here courtesy of ever mentally unbalanced wild card Daniel Carcillo and the cross check to the head of David Clarkson he delivered in a game at the end of March. Devils have the goaltending edge but that might be all they have if the Flyers show up. Upset in the making. Flyers in 7.

    Phoenix Coyotes vs Detroit Red Wings – This might be a good one, as well. The upstart Coyotes, as dark a dark horse candidate you could imagine at the beginning of this season but have played so consistently well you have to give them a legitimate shot at this point. The problem is, they’re going up against the most veteran, experienced playoff squad out there in the Wings and they get them at a time they’re playing extremely well having gone 8-1-1 down the stretch and warming up nicely for another playoff run. The ‘Yotes might make it interesting, especially if Bryzgalov plays well, but i can’t see youth winning out this time. Red Wings in 6.

    Colorado Avalanche vs San Jose Sharks – So, the question is: When will Joe Thornton’s Sharks squad spit the bit this season? When does the upset come? 1st round? Probably not. Colorado just squeaked into the playoffs and are very, very young. Their goaltending, with Craig Anderson, has not been as stellar of late as it had been earlier in the season and it likely won’t be enough to stop the powerhouse Sharks so early in their attempted run this season. Still, you never know. Sharks in 5.

What about you guys? Thoughts, predictions, ominous omens of ill intent?

Let’s hear ’em.

Bloodless Killer

January 15, 2010

Jack Edwards, old son. Maybe you’d like a mulligan on this one?

Listen at the 4:09 mark of the following video highlight from last night’s Boston Bruins shoot-out victory over the San Jose Sharks to hear the ever ebuliant, somewhat ranting B’s TV play-by-play guy refer to Dany Heatley as “One of the most bloodless killers in the NHL.”

Uhm. Oops?

We all know what happened on September 29th, 2003, when Heatley lost control of his Ferrari and, in the ensuing crash, his friend and teammate Dan Snyder was ejected from the car, sustaining injuries that he would die from a few days later. Heatley ended up pleading guilty to Second Degree Vehicular Homicide.

So, ah, maybe a poor choice of words there, Jack? I honestly believe that Edwards was trying to say something about Heatley’s ability as a proficient sniper goal scorer but I’m quite sure, listening back on the way it came out, he might just be wishing he phrased it differently.

Unless he intended it exactly as said.

In which case I applaud the man’s balls and his utterly thrilling lack of good judgement.

You go, Jack.

In The Wee Hours

January 15, 2010

Pretty great night of hockey provided by the Bruins tonight in San Jose as they squeeze out a 2-1 shoot-out victory over the NHL leading Sharks thanks to a blazing slap shot from Zdeno Chara who gunned one past Evgeni Nabokov in the 4th round.

Tim Thomas was spectacular all night.

Fairly improbably win given the savage depletion of the B’s line-up now that David Krejci is out with an undisclosed injury sustained in last night’s loss in Anaheim. That leaves the team without all of it’s top three centers, Savard, Bergeron and now Krejci. No team is going to fare well in that sort of situation. Not when your ice time leaders at forward are Mark Recchi and Miroslav Satan.

Thus, the gritty nature of this sort of win is that much more satisfying. Fantastic HD signal from San Jose, by the way. Anaheim’s broadcast was utterly miserable, I must say, poorly lit and poorly filmed but this one was crystal clear, like you were in the building.

Ah, there’s nothing like late night hockey, I tell you.

Good for the soul.

Goin’ Out West

January 13, 2010

Where the wind blows tall.

The first of three West Coast road games for the Bruins happens tonight in Anaheim. Tomorrow they’re in San Jose, Saturday in Los Angeles. None of the three are easy games, though the Ducks have been a bit of a middling team so far this season, sitting at the moment in 12th place in the conference. Of course, in the ever tumultuous West that means you’re only six points out of a playoff spot.

Of course, no games are easy these days for the hurting B’s, let alone games played three hours and 3000 miles west of where your home rink is. The Sharks are regular season killers once again this season, priming themselves for a truly spectacular first round loss to , well, probably Anaheim again who will sneak into that last playoff spot on the final day of the season. The Kings, for now, are the ones sitting in that 8th spot in the conference, having struggled a bit since a hot start.

The good news is some of the injured are along for the trip including Mark Stuart, who might suit up Saturday, and Patrice Bergeron, not likely to play until the teams returns home. Time for some character building, hopefully, maybe a side trip out to where they film Celebrity Rehab to gawk and laugh at a few of Hollywood’s most entertaining drug crazed fame hogs.

The other good news is that, as a natural born Night Owl, I love the late games. 10:30 start? No problem, I’m just getting warmed up. Bring on the dancing horses.

As such, to celebrate, here’s a one from my Dad.

Your Morning Check

November 6, 2009

Good morning, Hockey nuts.

Viddy this highlight from last night’s Thrashers-Blue Jackets game. The CBJ’s Marc Methot sends Atlanta’s Evander Kane head over heels.

Otherwise, a relatively sloppy game by the Blue Jackets who took seven straight penalties to end the game. That they won 4-3 is a miracle within itself — thank the maker for Raffi Torres.

Meanwhile, in Beantown, the Bruins avoided setting an ignominiously historic mark of being shutout three consecutive games when Patrice Bergeron scored with :52 in the third period. That tied their match with the Canadiens at one apiece. And though the B’s would eventually fall in the shootout, fans can take heart that the last Bruins team to be shutout three consecutive games was the 1928-29 Stanley Cup team.

I’m certain Ken will weigh in his thoughts the Bruins’ scoring woes a little later..

Lastly, the Sharks had their six-game winning streak end in a shootout loss to the Red Wings.

And now, here’s Chet with the weather.