Sharks Gameday: Counting Chickens Never Was My Thing

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7:30 PST
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24-20-5, 53 points 35-6-5, 75 points

2nd in Pacific Division

1st in Pacific Division
Television
CSN BA
Radio
98.5 KFOX, Sjsharks.com
Antagonists
Five For Howling

I'm not one to count chickens (especially Shark chickens because that doesn't even make sense), but today seems like a good enough day to think about a potential playoff match up.

The West is currently a wasteland once you get beyond the four teams* that look to be shoe ins for a chance to dance in Lord Stanley's tournament, meaning that each game going forward against Western Conference opponents will give us a nice snapshot of what to expect come playoff time seeing as we have a stranglehold on a top three seed come April.

* San Jose, Detroit and Calgary are for all intents and purposes a lock- Chicago isn't a guarantee, but I just don't see that lineup faltering down the stretch.

[Editor's Note]: Remember your SPG Picks for a chance to win a Sharks Banner courtesy of Carrol's Cove.

One player that has always held my hockey heart is Shane Doan. He's very much like Brendan Morrow of the Dallas Stars, a leader that has a lot to offer to the influx of young talent (Peter Mueller, Martin Hanzal, Mikkel Boedker etc.), and is deadly with the puck on his stick at the end of games. He's been a point a game guy against the Sharks the last two seasons (1.125 to be exact). One of the most underrated Captains in the league.

If memory serves me well Phoenix used the trap a lot last game, something I doubt they're going to get away from at HP Pavilion. You just don't roll into that place looking to go up-tempo with the best team in the league. You just don't. Detroit couldn't even stick around*. Dan Boyle may not be in tonight, so Christian Ehrhoff will have to step up his rocky play and prove that his 3.1 M per contract is still in the club's best interest- he has the skills to be a reliable puck mover, but the decision making still needs work.

* Hands down the best game of this year. Easy.

But hey, looking for this stuff doesn't really matter (and sure as heck won't be easy towards the tail end of things) when you are playing the Sharks Drinking Game tonight. The official site can be found here, and Mike Chen has added a few rules of his own over at BOC. Being the dedicated drinker I am, here's a couple I thought could go a long way towards livening up the list:

* Drink twice when Drew goes off about how he can't grow hair.

* Drink three times when they show Boyle on the bench and he's doing that thing where he opens his eyes real wide multiple times in a row.

* Drink the whole bottle when you see Claude Lemiuex or Jody Shelley smile on the bench (intermission doesn't count). If they both smile in the same frame, call an ambulance before adhering to the rules.

* Drink every time Ehrhoff skates through the neutral zone and coughs up the puck.

* Drink four times if Douglas Murray scores a goal. Seriously, that would be amazing.

* Drink when they show Nabokov after a stoppage in play and he does his forward shoulder shrug and puts his chin to his chest.

Prediction: Sharks win 5-2. Goals by Patty (x2), Grier, Michalek and Pavelski. Murray scores a goal while Shelley and Lemiuex smile, and the blog shuts down for a few days.

 

Go Sharks.

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