11/22 SHARKS 6, los angeles 3
Nothing like a home-cooked meal, especially around Thanksgiving time. Well, substitute home-cooked for popcorn chicken and fries from the Fowl Play stand, and you got what I'm talkin' about. Whatever it was, the Sharks gobbled up the Kings, much to the delight of 17,496 San Josers in the Tank tonight.
The effort that was missing from last night's contest was prevalent tonight, even though the shot clock didn't accurately reflect it. For the second consecutive home game, the Sharks put up 6 goals from 6 different goal scorers. Joe Pavelski and Marc-Eduoard Vlasic, the former playing in his first NHL game, each recorded their first career NHL goals (Vlasic, also known as Pickles, also recorded an assist, giving him seven points [1G + 6A] in 22 games this year). Vesa Toskala made 24 saves for his 11th win of the season, and Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau each recorded a goal and two assists as the Sharks flexed their power play muscle tonight going 2 for 5 with the man advantage.
Many pieces were in place tonight, especially the forecheck and the offensive zone penetration, which definitely made a big difference. Granted, we are talking about very different teams when looking at the Ducks and Kings, but still, comparing last night's Sharks to tonight's Sharks, tonight's Sharks were much more in sync, and the score rightfully reflected that.
Tonight saw Sharkie interacting with row 16 of 213 again, as tonight he made a visit to a young'un sitting a couple of seats down from me. Now, sitting on an aisle can become annoying, when faced with the task of repeatedly standing up and sitting down when people enter and leave the section, but it's an entirely different situation when tapped on the shoulder by a 6 foot shark asking to get by you. After taking pictures with the kid, he then came back the other way, gave me a high five, stepped on my toes, and proceeded to slide down the stairs on his shark behind, stopping a few rows down for some popcorn along the way.
On a side note, doing this trip has allowed me to make new friends. In addition to making new ones, I have the great ability to visit the friends I already know, who are in the Tank every night. If you ever happen to be in the arena, and on the concourse in the 223/224 area, stop by and say hello to my friends Todd (the guy who usually stands at the bottom of the stairs on the concourse with the finger screaming "sushi, chicken teriyaki rice bowl"), Sharon (the very nice woman and wife of Todd who hands out the food) and Jeff (the guy with glasses and the All-Star Game cap who usually prepares the rice bowls) at the sushi/teriyaki rice bowl stand located upstairs on the concourse behind section 223. Right next door to the sushi stand (on the left side when facing the stand) is my friend Dino, who is the bartender up there, and has beer and cocktails available. I cannot offer you any sort of promotion for mentioning my name at either of these concessions, but I can assure you that these are very nice and wonderful people, and are worth just saying hello to because of that.
It was very nice to do the "Beat LA" chant tonight, mainly because the team I cheered for was able to do just that (hey Giants, take a page from the Sharks book, defeat the dang Dodgers).
The Sharks are off until Saturday, when they host the final of five games against the teams of Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference (the Sharks are 3-1 against this division, with the only loss coming against the New York Rangers), with that contest being against Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils at 7:30 PST. The Sharks may have the schedule to thank yet again, as the Devils will be playing the second half of a back-to-back after a rare Friday 1:05 contest against the Anaheim Ducks.
Until then, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving Day. Eat lots of turkey, hang out with lots of family, and watch all three football games and the one NHL game.
Go Sharks (go eat lots and lots of turkey, and stuffing, and mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie, and be safe)