So that was an awesome win last night in Chicago. Just 24 hours later and the Sharks are here in St. Louis. The Blues' strength of schedule is really impressive this week.
Back in the fall when the Sharks came calling the first time this season, two fans from San Jose who hang out/contribute at Fear the Fin flew in for the game. We had a bloggy type summit and shared beers and a Sharks dominating win. It was half awesome. Well Lurker Shark and Conico do Mayo Miracle (don't ask) had a good time. We've bumped into them every once in awhile.
Well last night I asked Conico about the Sharks. He claimed to be out with a girlfriend but sent a writeup that follows:
If you asked me two weeks ago how the San Jose Sharks were playing, I'd enthusiastically tell you, "Amazingly well - we've embarrassed Kiprusoff and solved Ryan Miller; Nabokov is playing like Patrick Roy in the 2001 Cup Finals; we've outscored our opponents 26-7 in a 5-game span; and we're getting balanced production from our second liners, third liners, and even our defensemen, to say nothing of our highly touted Olympian line." For those that bleed teal, what's not to like?
What a difference a week will make.
With four complete days of rest following the stomping of Buffalo, the Sharks went on to lay a fat goose egg in a highly anticipated matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks, in our own barn no less. Three quick goals in six shots during the first period put San Jose into a big hole - Nabokov came back to life, however, and managed to stop 32 consecutive shots, while our second liners worked to tie it. That achievement failed to secure us the extra point - or, more importantly, satisfaction in our team - as the Hawks finished us in OT.
Given the media buildup around that particular game, it was sadly no surprise that some among us thought the sky - and our chance at a long playoff run - was falling.
And then we faced Minnesota - things started off bitterly, as we gave up the first goal yet again, and found ourselves down 2-1 at the end of the first. Fortunately, Patrick Marleau turned it on and helped us toward a 5-2 victory. Media and fanbase disaster temporarily averted.
Two nights ago was the last Sharks home game for a month, against a team we can all rally against - the Detroit Red Wings. Our franchise record against them going in was 18-43-4-4 = hardly encouraging. Yet, the Wings hadn't been faring so well thus far in the season, and it seemed possible that we'd get closer to that 20 win threshold.
The start of the game fostered such a belief, as Jumbo Joe Thornton notched two via assists from Dany Heatley. All was well in Teal Town.
Wait, what's that? Dumb penalties and defensive miscues? Four unanswered Detroit goals? Yeah, shit happens. Hi ho, hi ho, it's off on the road we go.
What can I leave you with, as Blues fans? For one thing, you have an excellent chance of outshooting the Sharks, as they've been outshot (sometimes dramatically) in the last six games. Unfortunately for St. Louis, the Sharks have a 4-1-1 record in that span, courtesy of Evgeni Nabokov. However, don't fret - just forecheck the hell out of the Sharks, since we've played much of the last three games lingering in our own end, as if it's an impossible task to clear the zone. Oh, and get Rob Blake to take stupid penalties - that seems to do the trick nicely (groan).
Have fun tonight at the Drink Scotch (or is it now The House of Payne?) - I have fond memories of chilling with you guys back in November.
Conico also reports that Evgeni Nabokov is getting the night off and Thomas Greiss is getting the start. I've read on Twitter that D.J. King will be in the lineup. Jody Shelley, be afraid. Be very afraid.
This worked out well. You've got a lot of words. I didn't have to write most of them. I should do this more often. This is your game day thread. Don't be afraid to rough 'em up in the corner, but if any Sharks fans are lurking, at least offer them a beer or something. They'll probably turn it down for a nice merlot.