The San Jose Sharks traveled to Vancouver Tuesday, where they’re set to control their own playoff destiny. With their win last night in Phoenix, coupled with Vancouver’s loss in Anaheim, the Sharks moved four points ahead of the Canucks, who currently sit in the ninth spot. In their last road game of the season, the Sharks have the ability to clinch a playoff spot tomorrow night in Vancouver.
Even if six consecutive victories isn’t in the cards for Team Teal, San Jose could still clinch a spot with a victory Thursday night in the back end of a home-and-home series with Vancouver. With so many different possibilities looming, it’s a great time to be a supporter of the teal and black.
“We all know that every game from here on out is big for us,” said Joe Thornton
. “We know that if we have a good series against Vancouver we’re going to be in the playoffs. It’s going to be two good games. They lost last night, so they’ll be ready for us. It should be fun going up there and playing against them.”
The Sharks could even get some more help tonight when the Anaheim Mighty Ducks play the Calgary Flames. If the Flames can defeat the Ducks, the Sharks will have one game in hand on the Ducks and could possibly pass them and get as high as the fifth seed in the playoff race.
“Your toughest game is always the next one you play,” said Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson. “My job is to keep the team focused and in the moment and not get too carried away with yourselves. For all you know, the way it’s going, we could end up playing Anaheim in the playoffs and that would be interesting.”
With just four points separating the sixth place and the ninth place team in the Western Conference, one thing is for sure: The final six days of the hockey season are sure to be thrilling. For the Sharks, they’re keeping focused on climbing as high as they can get before April 18.
CHEECHOO A STAR
Everyday NHL.com posts it’s three stars of the day on their website after all games are completed. With the type of season he’s having it should be no surprise that Jonathan Cheechoo is among the top “star” getters in the League. He ranks second behind Jaromir Jagr with 200 points and five first-star tallies. To view a complete list visit: http://www.nhl.com/features/threestars/three_stars.html
BARONS ANNOUNCE MVP AND ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Cleveland Barons President Michael T. Lehr announced today that Patrick Rissmiller has been named the team’s Most Valuable Player and Josh Hennessy has been named the Rookie of the Year for the 2005-06 season. The two were selected by a panel of local media and team officials.
Rissmiller has posted 52 points (15-37-52) this season in 68 Barons games. In January, Rissmiller was selected to play for PlanetUSA in the 2006 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic and became the Barons All-Time Points leader (64-117-181). He is also in the Barons record books as the All-Time Assists leader (117) and is second in goals (64).
Rissmiller was recalled by the San Jose Sharks on March 15th and has appeared in 12 NHL games this season, earning five points (2-3-5) and a plus-two plus/minus rating. At the time of his recall, he led the Barons in assists and held second place in scoring and power play goals (8).
Last season, Rissmiller notched 21 goals and 23 assists for 44 points. His 21 goals and eight power play goals were second on the team and his 44 points were third. In 2003-04, Rissmiller registered 15 points in his first 14 games, earning his first trip to San Jose. He became the first Holy Cross and MAAC product to appear in an NHL game, going scoreless in 4 games with the Sharks. He finished the season with 45 points (14-31-45) in 75 games.
The six-foot-four, 205-pound native of Belmont, Massachusetts was signed by San Jose as a free agent on June 30, 2003.
Hennessy is currently having the most prolific offensive season by a rookie in Barons history with 59 points (22-37-59) in 75 games. On March 25th, Hennessy tied the Barons franchise record for goals by a rookie when he notched his 22nd of the season. The record was set by Jon DiSalvatore in the 2003-04 season and tied by Hennessy and fellow rookie Mike Iggulden this season. Hennessy is tied for 6th among AHL rookie scoring leaders. He is also ranked among AHL rookie goal leaders (10th) and AHL rookie assist leaders (5th).
The six-foot, 190-pound center from Brockton, Massachusetts was drafted by San Jose in the second round (43rd overall) of the 2003 NHL entry draft. He spent the previous four seasons with the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL. Last season, he served as the captain of the Remparts and led the team in scoring with 85 points (35-50-85) in 68 games.
PINK STICK WEEKEND RAISES OVER $110,000
It was announced today that the first-ever Tribute to Hockey Moms which took place March 17-19, 2006 has so far raised over $110,000 for breast cancer research. With five teams yet to conclude their own auctions, it is hoped that the final total will exceed $125,000. More than 400 NHL hockey players took to the ice with pink hockey sticks carrying the breast cancer logo during the hockey weekend. The specially designed sticks were used for practices, pre-game warm-ups and throughout the games.
The auction, which concluded on March 30th, was coordinated by Frameworth Sports Memorabilia and gave fans the opportunity to bid on the actual sticks used and autographed by NHL players. Two of those players, Sean Avery of the Los Angeles Kings and Mike Comrie of the Phoenix Coyotes, scored goals using their Pink Sticks. Any unsold sticks will be donated to local breast cancer charities for use in their own fundraising efforts.
SEALS BOOK AVAILABLE
The most in-depth history of the Seals ever produced is available now. Brad Kurtzberg has written the first history of the Seals called Shorthanded: The Untold Story of the Seals, Hockey's Most Colorful Team. More than 110 interviews have been conducted to create this unique oral history of the Bay Area's hockey team. Relive the memories of yesteryear. Shorthanded is full of hilarious stories and never-before-told insights of things that went on both on and off the ice. The players remember the days of the white skates, the streaking incident, the death of Bill Masterton, what it was like working for Charlie O. Finley, the birth of the WHA, the Morris Mott Fan Club and many other hilarious and untold stories.
Interviews were conducted with Gilles Meloche, Ivan Boldirev, Bill Torrey, Joe Starkey, Gary Smith, Bob Baun, Carol Vadnais, Bill Hicke, Tim Ryan, Frank Selke Jr., Charlie Hodge, Morris Mott, Craig Patrick, Reggie Leach, Krazy George Henderson, Larry Patey, Jim Neilson and many, many more.
Step back to a time of hippies, Hells Angels, streakers, expansion, long sideburns, white skates, fiberglass goalie masks, the birth of the WHA, the Broad Street Bullies and re-live the memories. This is the real story of what it was like to play in the NHL during the '60s and '70s. No fan of hockey history should be without "Shorthanded."