1/11/07 sharks 5, LOS ANGELES 2
I love L.A,* and the Sharks do too. The Sharks made their final visit to the Staples Center this year, and left in great fashion, coming away with an important victory just a night removed from a heartbreaker at home. The Teal improved to 6-1 on the year in the second game of a back-to-back, overcoming any possible fatigue to skate past their northern most rivals from Southern California. Patrick Marleau used this final trip to L.A. to become the Sharks all time goal scoring leader, notching the 207th of his career. Doug Murray also recorded the first goal of his NHL career, but had it taken away when it was credited to Ryane Clowe. Mark Bell got off the schneid, Milan Michalek scored on the powerplay, and Patrick Rissmiller stuffed one into the empty net to seal the victory for the Sharks. Vesa Toskala was undertested two games in a row, making just 22 saves for his 18th victory this year.
Making the final trip to Los Angeles for hockey this year had it's pros and cons. For instance, it was a sad goodbye because it was nice to sit in the same seat for all four games, as I happened to sit near four season ticket holders, who were very nice people, and fun to talk to. It was also cool because I happened to be near Jim, a fellow Shark fan and STH in San Jose, who had seats just a section away from me. And last of all, it was nice to be in L.A. for hockey because of it's large contingent of visiting Sharks fans, due to it's relative proximity to San Jose, among other reasons.
However, it was nice to visit Staples for the final time, because, although it is a nice building, Kings fans like to talk trash, and, although they are just words, it can get more annoying than it is amusing (and sometimes it can get really amusing, like the "gangstas" who drove past me, threatening to come back and "mow me down" if I didn't take off my
The Sharks move on from Los Angeles to the low deserts of Glendale, Arizona, where they will find the Jobing.Com Arena and the Phoenix Coyotes (6:00 pst). Site of the 8-0 drubbing just two weeks ago, you know that game will be on the minds of the Sharks, the Coyotes, the visiting Sharks fans in attendance, and the few hundred Coyotes fans in attendance as well (I kid, there'll be about 3,000 of 'em. [Kidding again, it's just nice to spread some of the attendance smack talk the Sharks fans got a few years ago when we couldn't fill our building every night.]) Tonight will be a success if two things happen, 1) The Sharks come out thinking they are the better team and play like it, and 2) The only chalupa I eat tomorrow will cost me $1.49.
Go Sharks (WE LOVE IT!!**)
*= Randy Newman reference
**= another Randy Newman reference
Outside of the purple Staples Center, aptly colored (finally).