The great Gordie Howe, also known simply as “Mr. Hockey,” once said: “All hockey players are bilingual. They know English and profanity.”
Well, considering how diverse San Jose Sharks fans are, we might as well be the damned United Nations sitting around a television screen. The Sharks play, Dad curses, the baby cries, Mom wonders if the hockey sweater she’s wearing makes her look fat (it kind of does). Basically, everyone is on edge.
And how could we not be? The Sharks lead the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 in their opening-round playoff series, but were it not for one of the greatest comebacks in playoff history Tuesday night for a 6-5 overtime victory, as well as Joe Pavelski proving once again that some people were born to play in the postseason—with his picture-perfect slapshot giving San Jose a Game 1 overtime win—fans might be wondering what they said to the waitress to deserve being served a steaming-hot turd sandwich in the first three games. The Sharks are just a few plays from being down 3-0 at this moment. But they’re not.
The Giants delivered torture last fall, yet the Sharks might as well be a torture chamber on skates. Whether it’s being too nonchalant or simply performing like an uninterested cast of misfits, San Jose needs to hip-check Stella into the boards and get back the groove it ended the regular season with to continue deeper into the playoffs.
Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau finally showed a spark in Tuesday night’s game, which is great, because so far this postseason Barry Melrose’s hair has shown more aggression.
If the Sharks can limit the stupid penalties in Game 4 on Thursday and take better advantage of power plays, which has been the focus all postseason, according to coach Todd McClellan, they might just come back to HP Pavilion on Saturday with clear control of this series.
And that would just make Sharks fans profanely happy.
Earthquakes Eyeing One in a Row
Coming off their first road loss of the season and still looking for their first win at home, the San Jose Earthquakes (1-2-2) are in dire need of a “W.” When you only play once a week, confidence can crumble like a French soldier’s resolve when the results aren’t coming.
Facing Chivas USA at Buck Shaw Stadium at 1pm on Saturday, the Earthquakes will look for star forward Chris Wondolowski to make better use of his opportunities, as he has only netted two goals despite leading the league with nine shots on goal and 19 attempts overall. Midfielders Bobby Convey and Simon Dawkins will be instrumental in ramping up the attack with service and runs through the middle of the field. Dawkins is second on the team with two goals and has proven to be capable of making the most of his chances.
If winning for themselves isn’t enough of a motivating factor, the Earthquakes should consider that Chivas has yet to win a game this season, and their nickname is the Goats. That might change if San Jose loses this one at home.