Friday, February 20, 2009
On the back half of this quick road trip the Kings went into the Shark Tank where the Sharks have been non-stop road-team killers. Obviously I’m not surprised that the Kings didn’t win, but they weren’t completely outworked either. They put 32 shots on Evgeni Nabokov and thankfully held the Sharks to 40. Yes, that is a lot compared to what the Kings had been letting on their own goaltender, but given the circumstances, it wasn’t too shabby. The game ended with the Sharks winning 4-2 and I’m kinda glad it wasn’t a blowout even though I was expecting a dog fight til the end.
This game was televised on Center Ice since FSN decided it wasn’t important enough to carry, you know, they're just a divisional rival that is in the top tier of the league. So I got to watch the San Jose feed with Randy Hahn and Drew Remenda who I actually really like. After living in northern California for a number of years, I got used to their banter and chemistry and they’re definitely not homers when it comes to the Sharks. My favorite line from Randy Hahn was, “…and the puck hit Derek Armstrong on the butt,” but the snickering from Drew Remenda after a three-second pause made it that much funnier.
The majority of the game was pretty even and I’m happy that the Kings were able to hang on as long as they were able to, but they’re gonna have to start bearing down a bit more to make sure they’re getting to the end of games without scrambling for a goal or two. If they could just start games with the same energy they have at the end of games, fans could most likely watch these contests without fear of the inevitable semi-meltdown that arrives in the third period.
Once again Denis Gauthier displays his penchant for playing the opposing player’s head instead of his body. Dude, you’re not supposed to ram a guy’s head into the glass! Okay, that’s “the type of game” you play, but can you just open your eyes a bit and think about what might happen if you smash that guy’s nose into the boards? Anyway, he received a double minor for boarding and roughing, which I was fine with. But two penalties I was not okay with were the high-sticking call on Jarret Stoll (because it wasn’t even his stick that hit Mike Grier in the face) and the interference call on Erik Ersberg. Example of why Drew Remenda isn’t a homer like Gayward is: he called this penalty “a gutsy move” on the ref’s part. Retrospectively, I guess it could have gone either way, but it wasn’t like Ersberg purposefully went after the Sharks player.
Rob Blake love: So it turns out Blake isn’t a fuddy duddy. His contributions on the blueline are pretty substantial with the Sharks and is getting ample time on the power play. His cannon of a shot hasn’t diminished at all and I’m pretty happy that he’s earning his paycheck up in San Jose.
Ending note: For your listening pleasure, James Gralin of Jerseys and Hockey Love interviewed me on his west coast swing along with Jibblescribbits and PJ Swenson on the Rink Podcast. I’m the first of three interviewees so I hope you enjoy!