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Sharks Gameday: Les dés sont jetés

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7:30 PST
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29-26-7, 65 points
42-10-9, 93 points
3rd in Pacific Division 1st in Pacific Division
Television
CSN BA
Radio
98.5 KFOX, Sjsharks.com
Antagonists
Defending Big D

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

We've chronicled the trials and tribulations of Dallas extensively this season, and it's a miracle that they managed to make a mid season run into the playoffs.

Unfortunately (ha), they're in a heap of trouble right now.

As last Friday's look at the playoff bubble showed, the Stars are in a freefall. Although the locker room issues have subsided, the loss of Morrow, Zubov, Richards, and Petersen is just about as deadly as they come. Morrow and Zubov will not be returning during the regular season, Richards is a longshot to make it back for the last two weeks, and Petersen is in roughly in the same boat as Richards. It looks bleak, and as we mentioned beforehand, Marty Turco needs to be nothing short of stellar down the stretch. The Stars home page agrees wholeheartedly.

Make no mistake about tonight however- the Stars are a dangerous team. Five home losses in a row, a thirst for sweet nectar in the form of standings points, an 0-4 record against the Sharks this season, and the return of pugilist Steve Ott make me a tad wary of a halfhearted effort before D-Day. Granted the Sharks personnel is probably less concerned about impending deals (see Marleau, Patrick) than they were last season, so the cautious approach may be a bit unnecessary on my part.

However, it's not as if our record against Dallas this season tells the entire story. November 8th was due to Marty Turco's careless play with the puck, December 29th was a decent effort that could have swung either way, and the 23rd of February will forever be known as The Evgeni Nabokov show. Not the most convincing set of wins to say the least.

Looking at the current news reports coming from sjsharks.com, the disclusion of Mike Grier from yesterday's skate set off a few alarm bells for me, myself, and I*, but it's just the nature of the beast during the deadline.

* Fairly certain someone else mentioned this in the clusterfuck of comments yesterday as well. Our Secretary of Foreign Affairs Mr. K? Or was it TCY via email? The suddenly un-lurkery Lurker Shark? Who knows.

I'm not sure what sort of return could even be gained from moving him- maybe a package including Kaspar to pick up a depth guy? Even then the salary cap scenario is fairly unfavorable, as the Sharks wouldn't be able to take on a salary of over (roughly) $3.5 M. In retrospect that looks favorable so maybe it's a possibilty. Throw in the fact he is an assistant captain that contributes wonderfully on the penalty kill and it's unlikely. Still, as was mentioned in the Montreal game thread, watch for any scratches. Whether or not they materialize isn't the issue, it's preparing to deal with them as a fanbase that is the issue. Shit, I really have some major issues around this time of year. Ramble city sunset tonight with a bottle of Black Label for me. What does that even mean dude. Is Doug Wilson on the verge of blowing our minds with a deal? I say no, with a 100% chance that the three words that came before that comma are 100% speculation. There's no chance in hell we move anybody big, but is Grier considered an essential part anymore with Marleau, Michalek, and Pavelski stepping up big time on the PK? Then again you want to limit those players minutes down the stretch so they're fresh, but Datsyuk and Zetterberg contribute heavily on the PK so maybe that doesn't make sense what about Cheech and Grier for Keith Tkachuk but why would St. Louis move a key element of their locker room in the midst of a playoff run that seems highly unlikely what about the Pens I've heard rumblings of Jordan Staal he always plays well in NHL 09 in fact I'm playing Pittsburgh in the Cup right now and he had two goals in the first game does that mean something let's go see what Eklund has to say oh yeah we linked to it in the Monday Morning Mixtape he has a 3% chance of being correct that's terrible but it's a chance right you always got to take a chance right what if I miss something when I'm sleeping it's already 3:30 AM on the East Coast a little addition man I really should have paid attention in math class a little addition means in three hours something might break something big I could kill time by watching Arrested Development that's always funny I wonder if anyone got the reference in my post yesterday to Gob's connection to The Final Countdown it made me laugh at least bah I've seen em all already and Michael Cera has lost his charm he's sort of like Will Ferrell now always playing the same character what a great show though man make up your mind do you like Cera's current career path or not who knows ya know what I noticed the guy who plays John Locke in Lost plays Elisha Cuthbert's dad in Old School and Sean Avery made comments about her earlier this season which ties in to tonight's game on some level because they just put him on recall waivers yesterday which has a connection to The Island what the hell is going on man it's too late for this sort of thinking maybe Wilson is looking for a third liner Staal really would be sweet he's solid as hell defensively honestly that might go through whatever just stay up you can't miss the deals and the hot air being blown around by Mike Milbury on TSN thank God you ordered NHL Network this season man Ron McLean is freaking awesome I could read To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf to stay up yeah that seems like a good idea don't fall asleep stay awake stay awake awake stay stay awake stay don't fall asleep don...faull.....asleeeeeeeeee