Hello all from California to Montreal, I am one of the newest writers here at Fear the Fin. I thought it would be a great idea to introduce myself and my relationship with the Sharks- spoiler, it’s 90% heartbreak- so you the reader know where my opinions and ideas come from.
First things first, I am a Canadian, living in Toronto, who grew up in a loud and loyal Habs household. My father and grandmother, who is very French and lives in Montreal, call each other after almost every game. Sometimes my uncles call my dad right after that to further discuss Le Bleu, Blanc et Rouge and how much they hate Toronto.
I too cheered for Montreal, right up until a young Kyle was gifted with a Sharks T-shirt by my aunt. From that point onward, I was unwavering in my support of the Teal, no matter how many kids told me the Leafs were the best team ever or my dad recounted all 24 Stanley Cup wins for Les Glorieux. I have been there since puck drop in Game One to Dan Boyle scoring on his own net in OT to finally playing in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Cheering for the Sharks in Canada on the east coast is not an easy task. Games start late and routinely end after 1 a.m. Highlights are Toronto first, then the other Canadian teams, then probably a Chicago or Boston and then some Pacific Division. I could tell you if William Nylander sneezes, but I have to specifically seek out basic Sharks info on a daily basis. The advent of Twitter and sites like Fear the Fin, have made this much easier, but 12 year old me kept a notebook of Sharks lines and stats.
This mishmash of hockey education, including playing the game since I was six, have led me to how I view the Sharks from season to season and game to game. I decided a quick way to see inside my mind on the Sharks, was for me to do a quick top 5 of my favourite San Jose moments
5. Outdoor Game vs. LA. This game ranks for me because of sentimental reasons. My best friend and I were in attendance. We decided it would be fun to visit California and see what a warm weather outdoor game was all about. My best friend is a Leafs fan, but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity he couldn’t pass up. I stepped off a plane from Denmark, spent 24 hours at home in Toronto, and then he and I hopped a plane to San Jose. We saw the Tank. We tailgated! We watched a hockey game in shorts and jerseys on a beautiful Nor Cal night.
4. Nabby Glove Save. I still don’t know how he made that save. Nabby is one of my favourite all time Sharks, with this save being a playoff memory that endures to this day. It’s too bad the game ended in a loss after four overtimes, but this is right in the San Jose “choke artists” period so I was probably just expecting my heart to be broken anyway.
3. The Point. January 18, 1997. In San Jose. Breakaway. Nolan. Hasek. Point. Top Shelf. “Here come the chapeaus!” Eight year old me lost his mind.
2. The Trade. My dad had a small room off the main living room where he would retreat and watch hockey and things. Many a night I would spend in there eating chips and watching the game. November 30, 2005 was definitely the most interesting. I can vividly remember the broadcasters announcing there had been a trade. My dad making a joke that maybe Alexei Kovalev got traded back to Russia. The name Joe Thornton had been said, my dad excited that he wasn’t a Bruin and secretly hoping he was a Hab. Traded to San Jose tumbled out of the TV speakers next, and I wasn’t sure I heard that correctly. The announcers went over the trade and I jumped up in excitement, accidentally punching the ceiling light and breaking it. Every game that goes by that trade gets better and better for San Jose, and that memory gets sweeter and sweeter.
1. Stanley Cup Finals. I waited my entire life to see my favourite team in my favourite sport finally breakthrough. Only four wins separated San Jose from the first Cup in Franchise history. The entire 2016 run was surreal and unfortunately Pittsburgh was just the better team. However, by making the Finals, it gave me hope knowing it was possible and that a Cup wasn’t just a pipe dream.
That’s a little about me, die-hard Sharks fan trapped in Toronto. I am really excited to get this opportunity to contribute to such a great community of fans. I look forward to getting into some fun discussions and lively debates with everyone! Go Sharks!