Sharks Gameday: Put on Your Pants, It's The World Champs

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7:30 PM PST
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12-4-0, 24 points 11-4-2, 24 points
1st in Eastern Conference
2nd in Western Conference
Television
CSN-BA
Radio
98.5 KFOX, Sjsharks.com
Antagonists
Pensburgh
The Pensblog

Anytime the defending champs roll into town you gotta take notice.  Enter it on the ol' palm pilot and settle in.

Then the day comes and you realize both squads are hurting more than John Goodman at an all you can eat buffet. Setoguchi, Pavelski, Blake, Malkin, Gonchar. Some big-time cogs in the lineup right there. Chances are your mother will call you on the phone and say she heard it's a statement game for the team, or something of that sort. Remind you not to miss church in the morning and chastise you for leaving the seat up.

But at the end of the day, what we've got here is two points on the table against an Eastern Conference team we play once a season. Doesn't mean it's not a big game, doesn't mean we shouldn't get a little chubs when 6:30 rolls around. It just means that two points are the only thing that matters tonight. If the Sharks win, don't make out with your sister. If the Sharks lose, don't jump off the Golden Gate. We're in for a long road if we start flying off the handle 17 games in. The performance on Thursday was the best they've looked in Joe Louis for years, and if not for a pocketed whistle we're sitting with an extra point in the bag. No excuses, but that's a fact. Mark it down as such and move on.

On a relevant side note, how bad does Thomas Greiss feel right now? He puts up a 37 save performance in Philadelphia and hasn't seen the light of day since. With Nabokov playing two back to backs that went to the skills competition and then traveling halfway across the country, does anyone else think it would be a good idea to give him the keys to the car tonight? I understand that a Saturday night home game against the defending champions is probably a good way to destroy his career if he lets in a few softies (hell, I remember sitting at the Vancouver preseason game and people were booing him), but McLellan had to have seen this as a possible outcome. I'm sure the team didn't even come close to touching the ice yesterday and probably just watched some video, but damn-- one start for the backup in seventeen games during an Olympic year when Nabokov is one of the favorites (if not the favorite) to start for Team Russia? Questionable.

Chris Kunitz waddles his way back to The Tank tonight. Does anyone remember that time he went Chuck Norris on Cheech's head two years ago in the waning seconds of the third period when the Sharks had the game in the bag? Pretty sure the Ducks hadn't even registered a shot in the third at that point. At any rate, there's one guy who should get a nice chorus of boos tonight.

Prediction: Sharks win 3-1. Goals by Boyle, Heatley, and Marleau.

 

Go Sharks.

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