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San Jose Sharks

New Year Musings Around The San Jose Sharks

San Jose SharksAfter a rare exhibition of futility, the San Jose Sharks have managed to put together a nice 6-game winning streak - restoring faith and hope that all will be well in Sharkland.  As the year winds down I’ve decided to document a few random thoughts I’ve had rattling around my head for a while (I have to put these things somewhere because all that rattling is keeping the neighbors up at night).

Top Line - Dany Heatley, Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton are producing as promised, so much so that the line will be intact for Team Canada during the 2010 Olympics.  That’s no small feat - we’re talking Team Canada…for the Olympics…IN Canada.  That’s great for Canada, but for San Jose - where silver cups are preferred over gold medals, is that line’s success a good or bad thing?  Two seasons ago, when Thornton led the team in scoring, the playoff strategy against us was neutralize Joe and the Sharks won’t score.  That strategy worked.  Here we are again with all our pucks in one basket.  The question is, do we have enough secondary scoring to keep us alive during the campaign?

Broadcast Blues - During the winter I travel to Lake Tahoe.  Through some effort I had found places hotels that carried Fox Sports Net and would patronize these fine establishments to partake of the Sharks hockey after a long day on the slopes.  Last year Fox Sports Net became Comcast Sports Net - no big deal because although the name was different, the coverage was the same.  Then this year Comcast Sports Net split into two networks - Comcast Sports Net Bay Area and Comcast Sports Net California.  The Sharks are on CSNCA (and the Golden State Warriors are on CNSBA).  The problem - those places that carried CSN now carry CNSBA.  Apparently CSNCA, and the Sharks, are absent from the basic cable packages that used to carry them just a season earlier.  Frustrated at my inability to get a Sharks game, and deterred because I just didn’t want to go through the hassle of continually finding places that carry games, I decided to break down and get NHL Gamecenter Live.  But guess what, you can’t watch Sharks games in the Lake Tahoe area on Gamecenter Live.  Why?  Because Lake Tahoe is considered part of the Sharks’ television territory so they black it out on the internet (for those of you who aren’t aware, you can ‘generally’ determine a person’s location by your internet connection address).  It seems like one hand isn’t aware of what the other hand is doing.  Does the NHL know that the cable carrier in the greater Lake Tahoe area has removed the Sharks from basic cable?  Is it better to make the fans you do have pay extra for your product, or give it away for free in the hopes of adding more fans?

Crossing Lines - During the Christmas break the NHL Network was showing Classic Games.  At one point they were showing an early 90’s Kings/Rangers game from Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas - an outdoor game.  They also showed last year’s Winter Classic from Chicago.  I just passed over these games - moved on, nothing to see here.  Then one time they were running last January’s regular season game between the Sharks and Red Wings at The Tank.  I was at that game, and it was a classic.  I watched it.  I watched a rerun of sports.  I watched a rerun of a Sharks game.  I had never done that before.  And even though I knew the Sharks won that game, I found myself cheering when the Sharks scored.  I’ve crossed a line somewhere, and I don’t know when it happened.

How Things Change - The Sharks have a big test this afternoon, they’re playing the second of back-to-back games, this one on the road, and less than 24 hours since the start of their last game.  And here’s the big test - it’s against the Phoenix Coyotes.  That’s right, I said it, the Coyotes.  I’m curious - what does it say about Wayne Gretzky’s coaching ability that a team, with more distractions this year than probably any team has had to deal with in the modern era, can become just that much better just by changing coaches?

2010 is tomorrow, that put’s us some 3 months away from the playoffs….

Happy New Year - and thanks for reading penaltykill.net!

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