TEN Thoughts, TEN Days Before Christmas
- If it weren’t for an unfortunate 2-1 loss to Edmonton two weekends ago, San Jose would be on an eight game win streak, right now. Which I realize is not the most outstanding current run in the Bay Area (congratulations, Warriors)… but still a very impressive stretch, worth recognizing.
A large part of WHY San Jose has won seven of eight, is that they are finally getting “caught up"… getting back ahead of the curve. Antti Niemi hinted as much, after the game on Saturday night. Following 16 of the first 21 on the road, he explained the Sharks were still a little wore down in their first three games back at home. But quality practices and off days since then have helped earn 14 of a possible 16 points. Speaking of Niemi, how impressive was San Jose’s tandem goaltending in the last three games? Antti hurt himself in the pregame warmups Tuesday night, putting Alex Stalock in the crease on short notice. Stalock allowed two goals against Edmonton and one versus Minnesota, picking up wins in both tilts. That led to Niemi’s healthy return on Saturday night, where he pitched a 29 save shutout, including 18 stops in the 3rd period alone. If Todd McLellan’s position on “the hot seat” was going to be floated around the hockey media and social media when the team was struggling through November… then I want to see his persistence and success rewarded here in December. Simple as that. I had the chance to hold the Sharks new “Stadium Series” Premier jersey this past week, in hand. There are a lot of fine details and creative touches that might not be seen from afar, that will definitely be appreciated when you see them up close.
Joe Thornton has 1,222 points in 1,239 regular season games. Let that sink in. He continues to be, essentially a point-per-game player through more than 1,200 games. There’s only ONE active player with more points than Joe… Jaromir Jagr. Joe Pavelski is sitting on 15 goals through 32 games. While this might be slightly on pace behind last year’s career-high of 41… I still believe “Little Joe” can once again reach the 40 mark, provided a few late-season outbursts, as he enjoyed last year. And especially if he continues to skate on the Thornton line. Hard to believe “The Tank” is hosting hockey for the 22nd season. Hey, has somebody bought SAP Center a beer yet? I remember going there during the first year - 1993 to see what would be my first Sharks game against the Blackhawks. What’s impressive is still how pristine and well kept the building looks. Almost like it’s still new. Credit to all those who keep the venue top-notch year round. Just learned about “Metallica Night” at SAP Center on January 21st. Which brings me to TWO musical selections which should not change anytime in the near future. “Seek and Destroy” when the boys come out of the Shark head, and “The Hey Song - Organ Version” when they score. One exception to this… when there is eventually a throwback night at SAP, I will NEED “Get Ready For This” by 2 Unlimited played as the team comes onto the ice, wearing their 1991 sweaters. Anybody remember that? Here are the important countdowns you need to know:
|My first time to the Shark Tank with my brother and a young SJ Sharkie. |
(10) Days to Christmas
(37) Days to Metallica Night at SAP Center
(68) Days to the Stadium Series game