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Sharks Gameday: "Steel Bars" by Michael Bolton Is One of The Greatest Songs of the Twentieth Century

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7:30 PST
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30-12-7, 67 points 34-10-8, 76 points
3rd in Eastern Conference
1st in Western Conference
Television
CSN-CA
Radio
98.5 KFOX, Sjsharks.com
Antagonists
Die By The Blade

No Buffaslug? No problem.

Dan Boyle will sit his second straight game, and although the Sharks took it to the Anaheim Ducks yet again in a 3-1 victory on Thursday, playing without your best overall blueliner is never a good thing. Blake led the team with 24:53 of ice time two nights ago. Unsustainable obviously, no one needs to tell you that, but it highlights what a big part of this team Boyle is. No one really needs to tell you that either. Okay, now that we've established what we have already established let's move on.

By all accounts tonight should be an excellent game-- two of the top teams in the league squaring off toe to toe at HP Pavilion. Thing is, for me at least, I take very little stock into cross Conference matchups from a "sizing up" point of view. The two teams meet only once a year usually, giving the coaching staff little time to prepare a gameplan the likes of which you would see against Chicago, Detroit, or Calgary. What tonight will come down to is the fabled sports cliches we all have learned to simultaneously love and loathe over the years-- get pucks in deep, establish a forecheck, bodies in front, and put shots on net. Truly riveting stuff when you sit down to think about it, but with how well Buffalo has played this season, I'm sure the tilt tonight will elicit a few more emotional fluctuations than this lackadaisical gameday preview.

I can almost hear you flatlining.

The Sabres. When I say level of talent I don't mean Mike "Everyday I'm Hustlin'" Grier or Craig "Old Hickory" Rivet (a new nickname I just came up with for him that rolls off the tongue quite nicely I must say, as long as you don't associate Manifest Destiny and The Trail of Tears with it). They'll be nice to see again of course; the former in the case of a San Jose empty net with twenty seconds remaining, the latter not so much in the case of a Buffalo empty net with twenty seconds remaining. By jove the contrast is striking.

Anyways, where the hell am I going with this, anyways, by level of talent I specifically mean Ryan Miller and Tyler Myers. Miller's the class of the league between the pipes right now and will be leading Team USA to an upset over Ivano's Russian squad in the medal round in February (puffs out chest and waves reproductive organs around), while Myers is a damn near lock for the Calder. He's been thrown into the proverbial fire this season, and along with partner Henrik Tallinder, has been far and away the best pairing on the Sabres team. Lindy Ruff will likely try and match them up against HTML, but if he doesn't manage to successfully do so it won't matter-- the guy seems to be on a lifetime contract or something and will be frozen like Walt Disney by Sabres management after he retires. Ruff would probably have to go 0-82 before getting fired. Even then, a couple loser points here and there might save his job. I think it's the sweet facial hair. Those Buffalonians sure do love their facial hair.

*****

That's all she wrote (all he wrote, really) for me tonight. A few R&C's coupled with an early wake up call to interview members of the Audobon Society for the paper (real muckraking stuff let me tell ya) have rendered me absolutely useless. But before I go, I leave you with a grammatically correct sentence-- the first person to translate it in the comments without cheating (I'm serious idunno, I know you scammed your way through trivia last season) wins my eternal affection and a signed copy of my new book "How To Mail In A Gameday Post While Eating Leftover Chinese Food In Your Birthday Suit."

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

Prediction: Sharks win 1-0 in the shootout. Miller shuts down Team Canada all game, with fellow American Joe Pavelski scoring the winner. Jingoism can't stop me now!

 

Go Sharks.