11/21 ANAHEIM 5, sharks 0
My father said it best to me, while we were walking out of the Tank on Saturday, "I'd be very surprised if you don't have to sit through one of those sometime this season". Well, Dad, thanks a whole bunch. You said you'd be surprised if I didn't have to? Well, you no longer have to worry about being surprised, because, last night, from start to finish, was a stinker. The ice stunk, the Sharks stunk, the game, on a whole, stunk. When you put out a lot of effort, you get the bounces. When you get those bounces, you gotta take advantage of them. When you take advantage of them, you score. And when you score, well, it makes it a whole lot easier to win.
Last night, the Ducks outworked the Sharks, plain and simple. They got the bounces and scored, and they won. If anything, the one positive to take from last night's shellacking was just that. The Sharks lost because they were outworked, not out-skilled. As ready as they were or weren't last night, they now know, for their seven remaining contests, how much harder they have to work. All five Duck goals were, as they are referred to in hockey, garbage goals (because they are ugly goals, i.e. rebounds, deflections). That is good to know, since just as easily next time around, the Sharks, with a stronger effort, could be the recipient of said bounces, and subsequent garbage goals.
The Honda Center (formerly the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, would be better suited to be the Honda Garage of Anaheim), is one of the older arenas in the NHL, at a wrinkly 13 years old. As one of the older "new" buildings in the league, the "Hond" is one of the more basic arenas, built pretty much as a shell to house the oval shaped seating area, and not much else, unlike the newer behemoths around the league.
The concourses are similar to the width seen at the Tank. The store is accessible from the concourse, with all the normal concourse stands (programs, beer, popcorn, credit card promotion booths). The concession stands are the standard fare (hot dogs, Polish, Italian, pretzels, popcorn) with the exception of a pizza stand who's brand name escapes me right now, and a Rubio's Mexican food stand. The beer (6 dollars for a 16 oz., 8 for a 24 oz.) selection is pretty sparse; Bud at some stands, Miller at others. A couple of cocktail stands round out the concession portion of the Honda Ponda.
The seating area is pretty normal - a symmetrical, three-tiered bowl that seats a relatively average 17,000 screaming Duck fans (sorry, a bad joke, I know. It's a well known fact that there aren't 17,000 Duck fans.). For whatever reason, there is no 100 level. The lower level is the 200s, the club level is the 300s, and the nosebleeders are 400s. The view from the ninth row of the 400s is not all that awesome, as the top level is not nearly as steep as it needs to be to allow awesome sight lines. The majority of the first period, before I changed seats, gave me a great view of the back of a dude's ski cap-covered noggin. Before the game, I was greeted by many Shark fans, only one knowing who I was. A shout-out (in cyber-space, no one can hear you scream, or shout, rather) goes to Craig, a reader of the Odyssey, who made the trek down to Anaheim for this gem of a contest.
Tonight is the second half of the Sharks third back-to-back games this season, when they take on the other Southern California team, the Los Angeles Kings. The Sharks and Kings have split two games this season, both played at Staples in L.A. With the effort produced by the Sharks last night, expect the Teal to be angry. My post will come in sometime tonight, as early tomorrow (7:00 a.m. to be exact) I will be going back down to Anaheim for some Disneyland action and a 30-person Thanksgiving dinner.
Go Sharks (Go work real hard tonight boys)
There's that new "logo" the Ducks call their own