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Hockey Thoughts To Ponder

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks
He shoots, he scores….

New rules means more offence? You betcha! Currently seven NHLers are on a 50 goal pace. That group is led by the Flyers Simon Gagne on track for a 67 goal campaign. Rick Nash and Ilya Kovalchuk led the NHL with 41 Goals last season.

Frequent flyers….
Despite the new schedule in which divisional play is increased, the Sharks will still play 31 games outside the Pacific time zone. Compare that to the New York Rangers who will play a grand total of three games outside their Eastern time zone.
Working Overtime….
Mats Sundin, Sergei Fedorov and Steve Thomas share the record for most regular season overtime goals in a career…13.

On a roll….
When Jonathan Cheechoo notched his 20th goal in his 37th game, he tied Teemu Selanne as the second fastest Shark to reach that mark. Only Owen Nolan reached that plateau faster as he scored #20 in his 32nd game in 1999.

Passport Please….
The Sharks’ Joe Thornton scored 54 points and registered 80 penalty minutes in 40 games last year for the Swiss club Davos. Current Sharks’ coach Ron Wilson spent parts of four seasons playing for Davos in the 1980s.

The West is the Best…
The Sharks’ are a perfect 6-0 against Eastern Conference clubs this season. Vancouver at 4-0 is the only other NHL team without a loss in cross-conference action.

Questions to ponder….
Does anyone in the NHL hit harder than newcomer Doug Murray?
Other than Gretzky, is anyone better than Joe Thornton behind the net?
Who’s a faster skater, Scott Niedermayer or Patrick Marleau?
Have you ever seen a team more ‘streaky’ than this season’s Sharks?
Doesn’t Grant Stevenson look like a veteran player already?
Does Rick Nash or Todd Bertuzzi deserve a spot on Team Canada over Patrick Marleau?
Didn’t Drew Remenda look like Don Cherry’s long lost son on the last Shark Byte program?
With the new CBA in place, will the NHL ever return to Quebec, Hartford or Winnipeg?
Have you noticed how many players are now wearing half shields?

Mark your calendar…
You won’t want to miss next Tuesday’s Sharks at Boston game. This will be the return of Joe Thornton and our first look at Marco Sturm and Brad Stuart in Bruin black and gold. Game time is 4:00pm on FSN Bay Area.

Waving the Flag….
Team USA has a decidedly new look with the likes of Robert Esche, Jordan Leopold, John-Michael Liles and Erik Cole. Jeremy Roenick and Tony Amonte are among the veterans left off the American Olympic squad.

So long 2005….
What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time NHL hockey was in the deep freeze. The future of the game was swinging the balance. But today, thanks to the fans, the players and management, hockey is back and better than ever.

For Seagate Technology's In The Crease, I'm Frank Albin.
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