Sharks 2, Oilers 1, Pessimism 8
Since I put this together over the course of the game, here's them thoughts more or less as they happened.
A case for Todd Harvey (that's him on the left, by the way, at some fundraiser a few years ago)
I know that Todd Harvey is not likely to be the difference between the third round and going the way of the Flames, but still, I think his five minutes a game would be better used than GGs five minutes a game. Though the fact he’s actually played with the Sharks is irrelevant (as is his taste in shirts), I think one of the things we could use at the moment is a speedy, annoying forward to stick it into the ribs of the occasional Shark, or at least run at the defence in the neutral zone, so they stop pinching as much. Isn’t a tight-checking playoff series the reason you put up with a guy like Todd Harvey for the whole season?
Why the shit was Dynamo singing the national anthems today? Is it like Kate Smith, only with an over-emoting fat Italian dude?
Jaro Spacek gets nailed as much as any defenceman I’ve ever seen. Pretty much once a game the poor guy gets lined up and pasted by a forechecker. I don’t know if keeps his head down or he’s just been kind of unlucky the last while, but it seems like it’s a matter of time before he’s going to be flying through the boards, leaving a Bugs Bunny-style cutout.
Also, I’ve mentioned this before, but we need a defenceman who pinches/rushes more. One of San Jose’s biggest strengths has been hemming us in, obviously, and they do that so well in part because their D are aggressive, both holding the line and stepping up in the neutral zone. We really, really like to hang back, which I guess is the safe play, but I think we would create a lot more chances if there was the occasional threat of someone actually coming up the ice with the puck, or joining the rush, or something. When was the last time you saw an Oilers d-man score a goal drifting in late (like SJ’s first), or carry the puck in the zone?
Greg Millen is stupid. In the second period, he harped on the Oilers for spreading out too much on the forecheck. Then, in the third, he said that the reason we weren’t getting the pucks was because we were bunching up too much, specifically not leaving a guy high. Not five minutes later, he’s explaining that our forecheck is ineffective because the high guy along the boards doesn’t have enough support. Look, obviously, our forecheck was ineffective. A smart commentator would attempt to see the overall trend (quick passes by SJ’s d-men, bad dumps, maybe no support generally), not just point out what happened on one particular play and claim that’s the reason for the ineffective forecheck, especially with this many wildly diverse reasons. Also, his assertion after the Michalek hit that the NHL should, for some reason, look into calling perfectly legal head hits is ridiculous. Both head hits this series (on Smyth yesterday and Michalek today) were made because heads weren’t up, and that’s all. Will injuries happen? Yes, this is why we call them “contact sports.” You can’t punish a player for making a legal, albeit slightly dangerous, hit, simply because the guy cutting across the middle of the ice isn’t totally aware. Idiot.
Also, maybe it’s Scott Oake’s persona or something, but if I was a player being interviewed in between periods, I’d want to crosscheck him right in the teeth. It’s not just his questions (“So, Joe Thorton, people have said you’ve pretty much been complete shit in the playoffs up to this point, does this goal erase that fact?”), but the smug way he asks them. He’s not even really asking non-clichéd questions, he’s just phrasing them with absolutely no tact. Someone: punch him.
Oh right, the game
Fuck the game. God this is stupid. I’d be a lot happier if this was game one, since we clearly improved, but still, it would be nice if we ventured into San Jose’s zone more than once every period. I think we actually do a pretty good job once we get in there (Toskala has hit the high point of his good/suck cycle, and his play has really made me think the big difference between this series so far and Detroit was that Manny Legace doesn’t make two or three of those saves a game), it’s just a matter of actually controlling the puck past the red line, which evidently is a task about as hard as coming up with a good simile to explain just how difficult it is. I guess there are some things to be optimistic about, but I’d rather wallow in my own misery for the time being, since whiskey generally tastes better when you’ve got a chip on your shoulder.
Bonus dirty joke
I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before, but next time we’re chanting down Whyte Ave, maybe “Golden shower for the Orbs of Power”? Further, why is my only natural talent dick jokes? Nobody pays a second-line dick-joker $2.5mil a year for a four year contract.
Monday, May 8, 2006
Sharks 2, Oilers 1, Pessimism 8
Posted by DMFB at 11:29 PM