1/3/08 calgary 3, SHARKS 2 OT
There's an old saying that goes, "You can never go home again". One can only hope the Sharks are listening.
Well, 2008 began as too many Sharks fans expected, with a loss at home. At least this time they got a point. Jarome Iginla scored twice, including the OT winner, and ex-Shark and constant reminder of a trade gone slightly awry, Miikka Kiprusoff stood large, making 34 saves for the win. Torrey Mitchell showed what happens when you crash the net, and Craig Rivet showed what happens when you put pucks on the net, as each potted goals for the Sharks. Evgeni Nabokov now sits just 4 away from tying the modern day record for consecutive games at 44 with consecutive start 40, stopping 17 pucks in the loss.
Despite the loss, the Teal did earn a point in really what was a pretty strong effort by the hometown kids. Beyond his goal, Mitchell was absolutely the best player in teal, possibly on the ice for both teams, hitting, shooting, forechecking, backchecking, pretty much doing everything a hockey player who isn't a goaltender does. The rest of the squad looked pretty good, until the last minutes of the game. Why they backed off towards the end of regulation, we don't know. What we do know is how frustrating it is to see it time and time again. The home record is now at 6-9-4, which, by my calculations, is about 5 wins too few, 4 regulation losses too many, and 1 overtime/shootout loss too many as well. 13 of the next 17 contests are in San Jose, the first one didn't go so hot, but there's plenty of time to turn it around, they just need to actually turn it around.
A chance to turn it around comes tomorrow night, as the Hitchcockian Columbus Blue Jackets trap their way into town (7:30). Since taking over the team that makes its home in the Ohio capital city, Head Coach Ken Hitchcock has turned his Blue Jackets into a rough, grind-it-out kind of team. The Jackets have won 3 of their last 4, and are 1-1 thusfar on their California swing, winning most recently in LA Thurday evening 4-3. Columbus leads the season series 1-0, winning the lone game, played in Columbus (10/27, a 2-1 win for the CBJ).The turn around needs to happen, and it needs to happen soon. Tomorrow works for me, how bout you, Sharks?
GO SHARKS? (pretend you're on the road)