Wednesday, November 29, 2006

11-29-06: Sharks 2, Wild 1

The problem with seeing so much of the Canadiens is that I now tend to get a bit frustrated when I watch other teams I don’t know as much about. It’s irritating when I can only recognize 5 or 6 guys on a team, don’t know the lines, don’t know any of the relevant (or irrelevant) stats. I still enjoy watching, but I’m so aware of how much I must be missing. That’s the problem with knowledge: the more of it you have, the more you realize what a moron you really are.

1. For years now I’ve been telling people that the only thing worth seeing in San Jose is the Winchester Mystery House . Turns out I was wrong: there’s also apparently some damn fine hockey. As cool as the Winchester Mystery House is, the Sharks are probably better. So two things worth seeing in San Jose. How the hell did so much glorious hockey end up in California? I feel like this is a great cosmic joke on people who live in places that actually have winter.

2. Seriously though, back to back games, and the Sharks didn’t even look a little bit tired. Not only did they move a terrifically fast game on the physical end, this team looks so mentally agile- hardly a moment of hesitation or uncertainty in the whole 60 minutes. And yes, they can apparently play for 60 minutes. Maybe the Vegas gods of probability do know what they’re talking about. Unfortunately, I don’t see full Sharks games very often (2nd time this season, maybe?), so I’ve got no specifics. Took me half the thing to remember whose number was whose.

3. The Wild on the other hand, only came with maybe 27 minutes, and some (surprisingly?) great goaltending. The first period, I think, showed them at their best: that tricksy ability to find and exploit even the tiniest moments of stupidity in their opponents. True, the Sharks don’t seem to have many moments of stupidity, but it necessarily doesn’t take many to lose a game. But somehow after they got down 2-1, the Wild seemed to give up on their offense. They played pretty strong defensive game, and if they’d had the lead it would have seemed strategically brilliant, but it’s weird to see a team look like their really trying to hold onto a one goal deficit.

4. Let’s end with some random thoughts on the endlessly adorable commentary of TSN:

a. Canadians don’t get why a guy named Vlasic would be nicknamed ‘Pickle’? Really? This truly is a foreign country.

b. That very bizarre man they toss random questions at during the first intermission would have wanted to play for Montreal. Awww. That’s cute, in a vaguely disturbing way, but I still don’t understand why I’m supposed to care.

c. Someone at TSN is sitting around asking himself: How many inane ‘debates’ can we televise about various aspects of Sidney Crosby to disguise the fact that I have a gigantic man-crush on him? Tonight’s ‘question’ (in the loosest possible sense of the term): Is The Venerable Sidney the best player in the NHL? Yep, sure. What’s your point? Oh, you don’t have one. My mistake.

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