Sharks Gameday: Give Me Back My Bullets

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7:30 PST
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18-10-3, 39 points 19-7-5, 43 points
5th in Western Conference
1st in Western Conference
Television
CSN-CA (HD)
Radio
98.5 KFOX, Sjsharks.com
Antagonists
Battle of California
The Royal Half

Quick one from me today as I'm nurturing a relationship with some books. Yummy.

  • Great game to watch against the Flames on Saturday, even if the Sharks walked out of the building with nothing to show for it in the standings. The intensity was there, the opportunities were there, it was just a matter of failing to cash in. Also, one thing that's interesting-- a lot of talk after the game about how San Jose "needed to get more people to the front of the net." While I agree with that statement to a degree (there were times when Kipper had a clear sight line to the puck at the blueline), my question is this-- did anything really change from previous outings (specifically wins), or was it just a convenient talking point after a loss? I feel like the equation hasn't differed very much on a game-to-game basis this season, and just because one goal is on the scoreboard at the end of the tilt doesn't mean they did an exceptionally poor job of jamming bodies in the crease, or more specifically, did an exceptionally poor job compared to previous outings. Sure there's room for some improvement there, but let's not kid ourselves and say that this was an atrocious effort compared to we saw in the 30 games before. In fact, I would postulate that the effort in this area was better than the majority of games I have seen this season. Say two shots that hit the post go in-- are we complaining about the lack of traffic in front of the net? I'm not sure we are. At the end of the day you have a team that is second in the NHL with 104 goals scored. You just ran into a hot goaltender.
  • The Kings big guns have cooled off considerably since the last time these two teams met, and yet they continue to win games, going 6-3-1 in their last ten, including a 2-1 win to the Calgary Flames on Monday. While there may not be a battle for the Pacific Division lead tonight, it's still an important one for both teams-- Los Angeles is winless at HP Pavilion in their last five games, and San Jose is currently in the midst of a bit of a slide at home, going 1-1-1 in the month of December. These next two months were labeled a good place to pick up standings points both before this season as well as five days ago, so anytime they plan on starting to capitalize on this would be quite alright with me.
  • Two bullet points seemed a little light, so an executive decision was made to add three.
  • ...wait, there's more! Not a big fan of ice girls (sort of seems like a cheap gimmick honestly, nothing against the profession), but if they managed to pull off some Space Age suits like those that premiered in Staples Center the other night, well, then you might have me sold.

Prediction: Sharks win 3-1. Goals by Boyle, Heatley, and McGinn. Denis Gauthier purchases a ticket to the game and elbows Patrick Marleau in the head on his walk to the dressing room during the second intermission. Whatabum.

 

Go Sharks.

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