Saturday, October 06, 2007

10/5/07 sharks 3, VANCOUVER 1

Jeremy Roenick made the headlines the last time his team played in Vancouver, however, it wasn't for his on-ice achievements. Last year, JR, then a member of the Phoenix Coyotes, was announced as a late scratch by Head Coach Wayne Gretzky. Roenick, disappointed at the announcement, stormed out of the locker room and GM Place altogether. Rather than watching the game from the press box, JR caught the game from a nearby steakhouse, enjoying some of Vancouver's finest beef (probably trucked in from Alberta).

Last night, JR once again made the headlines, however, there was no steak involved. After a disappointing finish in Edmonton, the Teal came out on fire last night, putting 3 goals on the always frustrating to face Roberto Luongo. After a wrister from Joe Thornton that trickled through the pads of Luongo, Roenick stole the spotlight. JR potted career goal 496 midway through the first when he whacked a Torrey Mitchell pass straight into the back of the net, and tipped in a Douglas Murray slapshot 4 minutes later to give the Sharks a 3-0 lead, something they would not relinquish.

Too much last season we heard about the Sharks lacking that "killer instinct", "not keeping their foot on the pedal", and "taking their foot off the snake to let it bite them". Basically, too much coasting with leads, and allowing their opponents to get back into the game when it looked like they were out of it. Last night saw the Sharks jump out to a 3-0 lead, and rather than sit back and coast, they kept at it offensively, peppering Luongo with 18 shots in the final 40 minutes of play. Yes, the Canucks had chances, including a couple missed open nets, but they didn't go in so for now, there isn't much need to dwell on them. Fact is, the Sharks had a lead for almost the entire game, and didn't blow it, nor did they look to be blowing it, and that is good news for Teal fans.

Game 3 of the opening roadie comes Sunday afternoon in Denver against the Avalanche (4:00 p.m. PDT). A very familiar mullet will be on the ice tomorrow, wearing #22 in blue and maroon. Free agent acquisition Scott Hannan should be in the line-up for the Avalanche, who look to rebound from their first absence from the playoffs since moving to Denver in 1995. Another mulleted face new to the Avalanche comes wearing #94. Former Oiler Ryan Smyth adds to an already scary Colorado offense lead by the immortal Super Joe Sakic.

GO SHARKS (2 in a row would be nice)


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