The Sharks Need to K.I.S.S.

Keep it simple, stupid. The Sharks should have that mounted above everyone’s lockers inside the San Jose Arena because every player should be reminded of that daily. After watching the home games against The Penguins and The Predators, and comparing them to their latest road trip, its like watching a different team when the Sharks are at home. They also seem to not play with any sense of urgency until they go down by a few goals. It’s like they’re a high schooler procrastinating their 10-page term paper until the night before and then staying up all night to write it. Sometimes it gets done (like Pittsburgh) and sometimes it fails (like Anaheim). It's annoying and it needs to stop in order for them to be an elite team that will win a cup soon.

 

san jose sharks, san pedro square market, joe thorton, joe pavelski, patrick marleu

 

The San Jose Sharks have the problem of having great and talented players on their team yet, no one player that will step up and take command. I have seen countless chances on goal wasted because of one too many passes or one too many dekes. Instead of being the man, it’s like they pass it off to be nice or to spread the love. Just score, dammit. Someone be the selfish one and bury the puck into the net. I know it is easier said than done but this is getting out of hand lately at home games. We need some goals and we need them before going down in the game.

 

san jose sharks vs pittsburg penguins, san jose sharks, san pedro square market

 

One thing that Todd McLellan did that I was yelling for after the first period of the Pittsburgh game was change up the line combos (maybe he heard me?). The top two lines were clearly not into the game but the third and fourth lines were actually getting pressure in the Pittsburgh zone with turnovers and puck possession. Moving Jamie McGinn up to the top line when he got the tying goal was great to see and I was happy he got that goal after the hard work he put in all game long. Hard work will beat skill 95% of the time and the top two lines better wake up to that. Looking at these lines of practice from Friday makes me happy since there is a hard working player on every line.

The Sharks top guys need to put in more work and pass less to start their scoring prowess once again. I still firmly believe that Joe Thornton can be a 100+ point player like when we first got him in 2006 and Marleau could be a 40 goal scorer on his wing. Pavelski is already on his way to a 96 point season if he keeps his pace up (doubtful though). All the potential of these guys kill me as a fan.

 

sharks loose in overtime to Nashville, san jose sharks, sharks, san pedro square market

 

There is nothing more frustrating than watching someone play that has all the potential in the world to be great but only to wastes it away due to lack of hard work. I hope the San Jose Sharks realize their potential this year and makes something of it. I see it already on the third and fourth lines and that gives me hope. I know it is only November, but setting a tone early in the season will only help habits later and in playoffs. And by looking at how Detroit is doing scares me as that could be the Sharks in a few years….

 

Tags: San Jose Sharks

New San Jose Sharks Fans and Hockey Etiquette

Guest Post By Aaron Sholl

The San Jose Sharks season has finally begun and I got to go to my first game this past Monday night against the Ducks. Although the Sharks didn’t win the game nor play well throughout it, the fans were a pretty raucous bunch – more so than normal. Part of it could be because the Sharks haven’t won since their season opener, but another part of it could be the new fans the Sharks and NHL have attracted this year.

hockey fights, san jose, san jose sharks, hp pavilion parking, san jose events, downtown san jose events

With the NBA in the beginning of their lockout and baseball wrapping up, the NHL is getting a lot more popular with the casual sports fan as it is that missing sports void in between Sundays. The NHL has the largest die-hard fans but lacks the popularity from bandwagoners. I think most of those people stick to the NBA as their third sport and the NBA is taking its fans for granted with the lockout (remember, I am talking casual NBA fans, not the die-hards). Don’t be surprised if the NHL becomes the number 3 sport in the US in place of the NBA by next season since most of those bandwagoners are moving on.

Coming back to the Sharks, these new fans need some lessons on how to watch hockey while at the San Jose Arena. Consider this the hockey etiquette rules for fans:

1. This isn’t baseball so stay in your seat and wait until a stoppage before getting up. This could be my favorite thing to yell out when people are nonchalantly getting to their seats during play. Hockey is a sport that is played whistle to whistle. Football is too, but in hockey the whistles are fewer and farther between. Stay in your seat because getting up blocks the view of every row behind you and a lot can happen in those 30 seconds it takes for you to read your ticket correctly.

2. Lean back in your seat. Same concept as the first one except this is where you are actually sitting in your seat. Due to the architecture of the seats (at least in the upper deck) being so steep in the San Jose Arena, leaning forward will block everyone’s view behind you. Instead of leaning forward to see a play, move side to side through the holes of people in front of you.

3. Ask questions and be social around you. Hockey fans and players are often the best in all of sports. I love when people ask me questions on what happened, what the whistle was blown for or what penalty was called and why. Don’t be shy; get engaged in the game and those around you!

4. Stay until the end no matter what. In hockey, 2.5 seconds is long enough to score a goal off of a faceoff with room to spare. And no, it isn’t like the NBA where the last 30 seconds takes 20 minutes either. Watch this clip of Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals tie up the game and tell me your stomach wasn’t in knots in anticipation.

5. Enjoy yourself and be respectful. Remember that there are families with kids at the game so keep the profanity down a couple notches. Be creative and humorous with your heckling but also respectful of those around you. Also, if you get asked or yelled at from the person behind you to sit down or lean back, don’t stand up and faceoff with them ready to fight (yes, I have witnessed this too many times not to add that in here).

hockey fights, san jose, san jose sharks, hp pavilion parking, san jose events, downtown san jose events

There you have it, the five basic rules to live by when going to a Sharks game for your first time. I am sure you could think of more to add to this list, so feel free to put them in the comments. The NHL is growing so for all you hockey veterans, expect to have newbies going to games for their first time all year. Hockey is generally a game that new fans fall in love with after attending a live game. Welcome anyone new and answer any questions they might have. For all you new fans of the game going to the Shark Tank this year – have fun and don’t say I didn’t warn you about the etiquette.

Tags: San Jose Sharks

The NHL is Upon Us!

san jose sharks, joe pavelski, The Sharks are just about done with their preseason games for 2011-2012 and have gone 4-0. When people ask me what I think about that, I basically tell them “who cares, it’s preseason.” If the Sharks went 0-4, I would say the exact same thing. Pre-season games mean absolutely nothing to me, it is just a chance for younger guys to crack the roster, show the coaches what they worked on over the summer and to sell some more tickets. Honestly, Tommy Wingels is the Sharks leading scorer? No offense to him and his accomplishment this pre-season, but if you are banking on him scoring more than 15 goals this year, you are in for a rude awakening. And please tell me who “won” the pre-season last year or the last five years without Googling it. The pre-season is just a bunch of practice games that are open to the public, nothing more.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am happy that the Sharks are winning games. But I amjoe thorton, san jose sharks, hp pavilion in san jose ca resized 600 more happy with the fact that they are playing much better hockey and that all of their new acquisitions are fitting in like they have been there for years. The defense now has depth that is worth talking about and I don’t think we will see the sluggish start to the year like last season. We will get to see Thomas Greiss a lot more in the beginning since Antero Niittymaki is out for the first few months after hip surgery. We will also see the 3rd and 4th lines rotate some players around while they figure out who works best in those roles. The Sharks are definitely better defensively than the last two seasons so we will see a lot closer wins than in years past.

This San Jose Sharks team has a lot to get excited over. They are one of the best teams on paper to start off the season in a very long time (even though I feel like that every year) but that doesn’t necessarily translate into instant success. I do, however, believe the Sharks players and even Doug Wilson know they do not have much time left to produce a cup. I would imagine if they do not get to the finals this year, the team could potentially blow up (with the exception of Burns and Niemi). Not that we need to worry about that now, but just don’t get too excited about going 4-0 in pre-season.

In the end, enjoy the short and blissful ride into the start of the 2011-2012 NHL season. Staying healthy will be the main worry all year and into playoffs, especially when we have some known band-aid boys on the team now. If the major players on the Sharks can stay healthy all year, they will win the Pacific Division again (which could be the last possible chance to win it) with some healthy competition from the LA Kings.

Next week, I will go over my predictions for the season. Tell me what you think in the comments about the Sharks’ chance this season of winning a cup.

 Stanley Cup no background resized 600

Fun Fact: The San Jose Sharks have 12/1 odds of winning the cup this year - I think it might be time to hit up Vegas

Tags: San Jose Sharks

Bandwagon Fans and Round Two: Guest Post by Aaron Sholl

Today we have a very special blog post. Aaros Sholl will be our guest blogger during the San Jose Sharks run to the cup. GO SHARKS!

san jose sharks   san pedro square market resized 600

This is the time of year when people in the Bay Area that aren’t particularly Sharks fans start paying attention to the Sharks.  They usually don’t know too much about hockey in general but know that the Sharks seem to always get to the playoffs every year and “don’t win it”. This usually pisses off all of the “real” Sharks fans and season ticket holders because they are the ones who sit through the good and the bad all season long (remember early January?). We always see reports when teams start doing well and winning. Well I am here to tell you who cares?

That’s right, I love bandwagon fans. I hope they come to every game and keep asking questions about anything and everything hockey and Sharks related. I want to see them flying their Sharks flags on their car doors around town. I absolutely love running into people that ask me questions about the game or tell me “I caught the last 10 minutes of the third period last night – what a game!” It’s great when they recognize players and let everyone know that they saw them at Santana Row or out at the bars. They are real people and are not stuck up like most other professional athletes. The Sharks organization and GM Doug Wilson does a great job getting great character guys on the team and not ones that are above the team.

Okay, time to step off the soap box and talk about round two against the Red Wings.

sharks vs red wings game three   game 3 sharks vs red wings   san pedro square market resized 600

Are you kidding me, 2-0 going into Detroit…..again?!?!? This is the exact same scenario the Sharks were in last season when they went on to beat the Wings in 5 games. If Game 3 goes into overtime and the Sharks win, there may be a glitch in the Matrix. So what should we expect going into the next two games in Detroit?

Detroit is going to come out very hard in game 3. They know they need to win no matter what the cost to get back into the series since any team down 3-0 in a series is usually doomed – only 3 have ever done it in hockey (1942 Leafs over the Wings in the finals, 1975 Islanders over the Penguins in round 2, and the 2010 Flyers over the Boston Bruins in the second round).

Also, look for the Wings respond to the snow showers that everyone has been talking about this past week. The Red Wings are frustrated because the Sharks are finally playing dirty and getting under their skin. Known in the recent years for not having an enforcer on their team, the Wings will sit and wait for the referees to call something and take advantage on the powerplay. Pavelski will undoubtedly be booed inside Joe Louis as he was the one who got under Howard’s skin with the snow shower in game 1. The Detroit defenseman will punish anyone who comes close to Howard in order to send a message.

Game three is a must watch for all of you Sharks fans, bandwagon or not. This will definitely be a series changer as no one wants to go down 3-0 and will be a very hard fought game. I have a feeling the referees will be slightly stricter and call a lot more penalties on the Sharks in the next two games in order to “help” even up the series. No one wants to watch a sweep, it is too boring….except for the fans of the team doing the sweeping. This game should be intense from the first minute through the final one and don’t be surprised if any of the next two go into overtime. I would be happy if the Sharks can pull of one win in the next two games in Detroit so they would come home with a 3-1 lead. The Sharks have never swept anyone and I can’t imagine them sweeping the Wings this year, especially since the Wings swept the Coyotes in the first round!

So in short, look for the Wings to storm back and possibly win game three and then the Sharks taking game four for a 3-1 series lead with game 5 at home to wrap up.

 

Fun Fact: Niclas Wallin has 4 career playoff goals and they all happen to be game winning goals.

Tags: San Jose Sharks