I, as a born and bred true Canadian boy, have lived and died with every near miss and every sparkling deke for 27 years. I have played hockey, I have watched live hockey, and I’ve woken at 4 a.m. to watch Canada play the quarterfinals of the World Juniors halfway around the world. I consider myself well versed in hockey history as well as an avid fan.
Others, like Sh0rksBoy, have literally come to the game 11 days ago in hopes of kindling a new relationship with the sport. He knows basic history and is learning on the fly, trying to soak in all the wonderment this game has to offer.
So we decided to start a new series on Fear the Fin. The concept is straightforward- we both watch the game, he in Portland, OR and myself in Toronto, and message each other throughout. We thought it would be fun to see into the minds of both of us as we take in the Sharks.
This is intended to be a light-hearted look at Sharks fandom from the new and old fan, as well as helping Ryan (Sh0rksBoy) learn the game. As the series progresses, I am sure these articles will get better and we will iron out the bumpy parts. For now, bear with us as Ryan learns the game and I re-learn what it’s like to fall in love with the Sharks and hockey all over again.
The dialogue is 100% real and edited for grammar and spelling as well as to cut down to a more concise amount because no one wants to read about us discussing the merits of Canadian chip flavours. We hope to do this throughout the season for a fun aside from all the seriousness of hockey and in depth analysis of how the Sharks will break our hearts.
Kyle: I’m just firing up a super legal stream
Ryan: Very nice. You probably get to see the commercials that way too.
Kyle: So how has the first 20 games been as a fan?
Ryan: Oddly enough I didn’t start at the beginning of the season, just in the last week.
Kyle: Soooooo you’ve only been here since they’ve been playing poorly. JK lol They will get better.
Kyle: Immediate icing. They should beat up the Devils.
Ryan: So they changed shifts after only 7 seconds?
Kyle: The Devils iced the puck so they can't change. San Jose might have changed for a better matchup. How did they not score. Come on. See, unlucky.
Ryan: Dominating so far!
Ryan: That was some top shelf shit.
Kyle: Yeah man, that was a snipe. Good use of hockey terminology.
Ryan: I’m learning.
Ryan: What do you call that? When everybody was just banging their sticks together and it went in.
Kyle: Garbage goal. Whenever it’s a battle scrum thing at the net and its just guys fighting for position and whacking away it’s generally deemed a garbage goal because it wasn’t a pure shot or nice passing play.
Ryan: Good to know.
Kyle: Yeah it’s not pretty but you have do it. A lot of times you might hear someone say you have to “pay the price”. Which is basically just getting into the rough areas and whacking the puck into the net.
Kyle: A lot of hockey history has to do with being tough lol
Ryan: I’ve noticed that lol My buddy always told me that NBA can’t be that exhausting since the guys can play like 80% of the game.
Kyle: So after the first what’s your take on the entertainment value of hockey? You watch other sports so what’s like the differences?
Ryan: Hockey is entertaining but it’s tough because you can’t space out or you’ll miss something. There’s no filler. Baseball is great to watch while you do homework or work.
Ryan: Do you know who Corb Lund is? He has a good song called Hockey Song 2003 where they make fun of the blue streak Fox used to have on the puck.
Kyle: Really? That’s awesome!
Ryan: What does that catch count as?
Kyle: Save. And a shot.
Ryan: He caught it above the air so it wasn’t going to go in goal?
Kyle: It’s a save because it hit the goalie. Dumb I know lol
Ryan: Definitely not a quality shot lol
Kyle: You’re learning!
Kyle: San Jose PP has been hot garbage recently.
Ryan: This period has flown by.
Kyle: Yeah fast period. Nice brisk pace. I wish the PP was like last year, devastating.
Ryan: What free agents did they lose?
Kyle: Roman Polak, Nick Spaling and James Reimer. If you don’t k ow who they are it’s because they suck lol
Kyle: Marleau has aggressive eyebrows.
Ryan: He kind of looks like Mario Lemieux.
Kyle: LMAO! I’ve never heard that one before!
Ryan: This is the kind of in-depth analysis I’m here to provide
Kyle: Why Michael Haley gets ice time is beyond me aaaaand that’s how a power play should work!!
Ryan: What’s the trick to winning power plays?
Kyle: Puck movement. Making the defenders go side to side. The more they move the more out of position they can become and they get more tired and it opens up shooting/passing lanes.
Ryan: How do you win face-offs?
Kyle: Timing and leverage.
Ryan: Leverage? How so?
Kyle: Get lower to the ice and time it as the puck hits the ice. You want to be lower than the other centre man. But the Devils guy just did the ass spin thing where he uses his body and skates to control the faceoff dot.
Ryan: Interesting. I just rewound to see if I can spot it.
Kyle: How has this compared to other games you’ve watched?
Ryan: Better results for sure lol No bad luck plays, no mystery penalties either…
Kyle: Definitely. Bounces seemed to go San Jose way. Shots were finding the net rather than the goalie. It seemed like against Phoenix every shot hit Smith no matter what.
Kyle: Sharks win!!!!! 1:10 am finish lol Any parting thoughts?
Ryan: Way too late, I’m tired lol Great game start to finish. My unlucky streak is over!
Kyle: Yes it was. Great game. Dominated from start to finish. PP looked better. Jones looked great. We’ll have to do this again soon.
Ryan: Sounds good! Have a good night.