2/21/08 sharks 3, PHILADELPHIA 1
Well, I've seen this game before. Sharks score, stop playing offense, opponent scores, then they run away with it late in the ga...
Wait, what happened? The Sharks scored first, gave up the tying goal late, and still won? Really?
Jonathan Cheechoo had a goal, his third in four games, Milan Michalek hit goal #20, and Douglas Murray tallied the first of many in his career, as the Teal finally got a W to hang on this road trip. Cheechoo scored just a few minutes in for the Sharks, who broke a 5 game losing streak. The Flyers tied it with 5 seconds left in the 2nd Period, the status quo on this trip. But Michalek and Murray scored 42 seconds apart in the 3rd, the streak, and the status quo, appeared to be broken. Thanks to 26 saves by Evgeni Nabokov and his league leading 33rd win, it was.
Philly is a town that loves: A) its history, B) its food (pizza, cheesesteaks, tastykakes), and C) its sports. All the professional teams play in the same area, known just as the Sports Complex. Among these are Citizens Bank Park (Baseball's Phillies), Lincoln Financial Field (Football's Eagles), Wachovia Spectrum (Former home of the Flyers, current home of the AHL's Phantoms), and the one I visited (Basketball's 76ers, Lacrosse's Wings, Arena Football's Soul, and of course, Hockey's Flyers).
The Center, despite being built in 1997, seems like a much newer building. The concourses are wide, plenty of food stands, two separate concourses for each level, and a massive seating area inside. The upper level seats have a weird lump on the bottom of them. Of course, I didn't find out until after the game that this lump was a locked box of binoculars, that could be rented for a buck. Figures.
With the streak broken, the Sharks, after a two day rest, will head to the other half of PA (that's the local slang for Pennsylvania, not Palo Alto) to face the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday (12:00). The Pens are currently Sidney Crosby-less, but you'd never know if you didn't know. Since Crosby went down in mid January, Evgeni Malkin has had a point in every game but two, and is currently on a 10 game point streak, earning 24 points in those games. The Pens are on a 3 game win streak, and are 7-3 in their last 10, with a game Saturday afternoon against the Ottawa Senators. I consider success in Philly as eating as many cheesesteaks as possible. Success in hockey is scoring goals. In my 36 hours, I had four of the local delicacies, while the Sharks only scored three times. That means I win. Go me. Go Sharks.
GO SHARKS (For the record, Tony Luke's is by far the best.)
Flyer forever, Shark for now.
Pregame ceremony congratulating JR. Was nice.
The old busted, the Philadelphia Spectrum, set for demolition this year.
The new hotness, the Wachovia Center, set for a hockey, basketball, or lacrosse game probably tomorrow.