Friday, March 16, 2007

3/15 sharks 5, PHOENIX 1

Love. The. Desert. The Sharks made their last trip to the wonderfully named Arena in Glendale (suburb of Phoenix), Arizona with a 5-1 defeat of the Phoenix Coyotes. As the Patrick Marleau line lead the charge on Tuesday, the Joe Thornton line stole the show last night. Thornton lead the way with 4 points (1 goal and 3 assists), Jonathan Cheechoo had 3 points (2 goals and 1 assist), Milan Michalek also had 3 points (0 goals and 3 assists). The defense was also pretty big, allowing just 21 shots on net while blocking 17. Evgeni Nabokov stood tall yet again, making 20 saves for his 19th win of the year.

Cheechoo got the game started real quick, scoring just 78 seconds into the game [24] (Thornton, Michalek). Despite pouring 10 shots onto goalie Mikael Tellqvist in the first 5 minutes of the first, the Sharks could just muster that one goal in the first 20 minutes of the game. Cheechoo struck again 4 minutes into the 2nd [25], taking a nice pass and popping it past Tellqvist(Michalek, Thornton). Bill Guerin recorded his 4th goal in 2 games [32] (Patrick Marleau, Mark Bell). Matt Carle [11] (powerplay) (Michalek, Thornton), and Thornton [18] (Cheechoo, Kyle McLaren) also scored for the Sharks, winners of 5 of their last 6 games.

The Sharks have been a great road team this season, even when conditions like last night's caused it to feel much more like a home game. Granted, the game wasn't played in San Jose, wasn't played at the HP Pavilion, and there was a disembodied coyote head at center ice, but the large amount of Sharks fans in the crowd last night made the game a lot more fun. It's always nice to see familiar faces, even if they're faces you've never seen before, and when out of town fans meet at an out of town game, everybody is sure to be friendly.

Speaking of friendly faces, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Edie, the very nice TSA woman from Phoenix Sky Harbor again. I had the pleasure of catching her at her lunch break, so I was able to say hello, and got to talk for a few minutes. I (along with my father Scott who made the short trip with me to Phoenix), also got to meet Lori, a coworker of hers. Both are part of the great D gate security, so if you ever find yourself in the D gates, say hello to either of these great agents.

The Sharks return home tonight, finishing off the back-to-back with a matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets (7:30 pdt). The Sharks have obviously been playing well, winning 5 of their last 6 games, and have outscored their opponents 23-4 in that time frame. The Jackets are struggling, as they have all year long. They do have a tough as nails coach in Ken Hitchcock, however, and should put up a decent fight, but if the Sharks can continue to play their solid brand of hockey, this is a contest the Sharks can win.

Go Sharks (no more ah-awooooo)

Out front of the Arena. Not sure why, but there is no sign out front the building. Hmm. Maybe it's because THE NAME OF THE BUILDING IS THE JOBING.COM ARENA


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