The Sharks are about to take the ice against the Detroit Red Wings. They won the first three games of the series, then lost the next three. Tonight the series ends, one way or another.
Honestly, I’m not sure I can watch.
Hey! Let’s make this a live blog, as long as I can stand it.
6:11 – whoever that was singing the national anthem was awesome. Nothing too fancy, just nailed it. I got a little misty
6:15 – strange circumstances – puck in the corner, neither team wanted to touch it first. Not sure why. A shark touched it and the whistle blew, a face-off ensued.
6:16 – My pizza arrived. Looks good!
6:22 – a couple of big hits, including an open-ice check, have the crowd going.
6:26 – a break in the action. Neither team has looked dominant so far. Goat cheese pizza is working well.
6:34 – here we go! Sharks’ first power play!
6:35 – had a good shot, but Miller (Red Wing’s goalie) could see it all the –
6:35 ! ao! oo! Goal! Good guys take the lead!
6:37 – Bullshit! totally bogus penalty against the Sharks.
6:38 – aggressive kill – Sharks get a line change! Looking really good.
6:39 – almost a short-handed goal! Hard to tell its a power play.
6:41 – and when the power play ended, things got scary. Detriot was tipping the ice pretty dramatically. I found myself hoping for another San Jose penalty.
6:42 – Type not fixed intentionally: Detriot.
6:47 – Good guys having really trouble getting the puck through center ice… oh wait now they’re attacking well. Live-blogging hockey is tough.
6:48 – Goal! Rookie Logan Couture shows once again that he can friggin’ skate!
6:50 – end of first period. Sharks 2, Red Wings 0
— Intermission —
6:53 – I’m not sure whether this live-blogging thing is worthwhile. My main goal is to keep myself a little more detached from the game, but I’m not really coming up with any insights that might encourage readers to follow in real time or relive the game later. I’m thinking interesting stuff, but until I master stream-of-couscious no-look typing I think that hockey blogging might be outside my skill set.
6:55 – I will say that Rookies makes a pretty good pizza. I had the Kelly’s Goat, individual size, and it’s was mighty tasty, and much larger than what usually passes for an individual pizza around here. Amazingly, with the place packed to the gills, the service actually doesn’t suck tonight.
6:57 – The Sharks were the better team in the first period, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some scary moments. That’s one of the things I like about Hockey — even when a team is dominating, a careless moment can carry an enormous cost.
6:59 – watching a replay of the first goal – it was a perfect pass. Thornton held the puck for an extra half-second before sending it to Setoguci, and that made all the difference. Another thing I like about hockey – the assist is almost as big a stat as a goal. Even the stats emphasize team play. (Brief moment to contrast with soccer.)
7:02 – I think I will maintain radio silence for the second period. We’ll have to wait and see about the third.
7:11 – except to say this: the Sharks are disorganized and sloppy right now. I’m watching the seconds tick by, waiting for the hammer to fall.
7:48 – end of the second period, happy the bad guys only scored one. I don’t want to know how much time the puck spent in each end; by the time the Sharks got it out of their zone all they could manage was a line change. Then the game was right back in front of their net. The last ten minutes of that period were rough to watch.
8:02 – still intermission. I’m at my own little table, and the group next to me doesn’t have enough chairs. The man standing has his back to my table. While I feel for a sports fan with no place to sit, the guy is very tall. My table is also tall, but not tall enough. The dudes ass is right here. I wish one of his shorter friends would offer to stand for a while.
8:05 – come on, Sharks! Play like you’re behind!
8:08 – Here in the bar, the cchant is on: Let’s go Sharks! It’s getting loud. Let’s go Sharks!
8:09 – shot off the pole! Aaaaaargh! (the best sound in sports)
8:11 – whoever wins this game plays in Vancouver on Sunday. I wonder who the Canucks are rooting for.
8:19 – Danny Boy(le) with the penalty kill hit of the game. Sweet!
8:22 – I didn’t see a penalty there – I think Detriot just got rooked. The good news for them: San Jose isn’t penalty killing anymore.
8:28 – hard to think in here right now. Sweet goal set up be Setoguchi. 3-1 Sharks.
8:30 – ah, shit. How many times have I see all the sharks on the same side of the ice? 3-2 game, six minutes to go.
8:39 – here it is. Detriot empty net. It’s on!
And I can breathe again. Sharks win. The final minute in a close hockey game is the best minute in sports. No timeouts, the guys down by one pull the goalie and throw everything they have on offense. A lucky bounce and it’s anyone’s game. make that game seven in the playoffs, and the intensity is that much more. Fans of both teams are having heart attacks ever fifteen seconds or so. This game was no different. As the clock ticked inexorably down, the Red Wings had their chances.
It’s far more fun to win a nail-biter than a blowout. When the Sharks cleared their zone with four seconds left, at last we could cheer.
This might be the last game for some great hockey players. Detroit is getting long in the tooth, and their captain and several other stalwarts may hang up their skates after this season. The kids will be all right, though.
Which leads me to wonder: Who will hate the Sharks? They are a young franchise, so they don’t have those ancient, traditional rivalries. They’ve knocked Detroit out of the playoffs two years in a row now; it would be a sign that they’ve arrived if Red Wings fans started saying “I hate the Sharks!” Is there any other fan base you’d rather be hated by?
I think that’s all for me tonight; I’m supposed to be writing right now. The downside of the good guys’ victory: more thursdays of hockey instead of internal exploration.