San Jose, CA
Hey now, welcome back to my blog, been away for awhile. My favorite team that all the prognosticators love to bag on has opened the season 2-0. The Sharks followed up a dominating performance in LA to open the slate, by beating Anahymen 2-0, on goals by the much maligned Patrick Marleau. Oh yeah, and their new goalie ain’t too shabby either, Martin Jones pitched a shutout with 27 saves.
If one reads the papers or even worse, listens to NHL Network Radio, San Jose is often mentioned as an underachieving team because of their lack of a Stanley Cup. Some of the criticism is justified because of their meltdown in 13 against the Kings, losing in seven games after being up 3-0. The main focus for their vitriol is Marleau and Joe Thornton, also an ageless wonder. As both men slide into the downside of their dreaded thirty somethings it may be argued that they have lost a step or even worse that the only reason they are still around is their seven million dollar cap hit and no trade clauses.
The constant bagging doesn’t seem to faze them or GM Doug Wilson because he keeps running them out there and they produce. In the Ducks game, with Marleau centered by Logan Couture and flanked by new addition Joel Ward, Marleau constantly broke free from the Ducks defense from guys 15 years younger to produce chances with seven SOG leading to two goals. Thornton was also a beast on the top line with Pavelski and new addition Jonas Donskoi with five SOG including two breakaways. Only brilliant saves by Freddie Anderson prevented the tallies as the the Ducks young defense was victimized by the Sharks old men and newcomers, giving up 44 shots.
I’ll wrap up this fishwrap by saying good on them, a Canadian saying popularized by Jim Boomer Gordon of NHL Network Radio. The Sharks have retooled by adding Paul Martin on D, Martin Jones in G and Joel Ward as a legitimate power forward and net presence on the power play. These guys coupled with the usual suspects like Vlasic, Couture, Marleau, Thornton and All Star Brent Burns have this guy feeling like we can compete with LA, Anahymen, Chicago and St. Louis for a return to the playoffs. And that my friends is all you can ask of your team, just get in baby, just get in and do some damage!