Thursday, April 17, 2008

Do the Sharks Have Sharp-as-Hell Teeth?

We know what fine swimmers they are, but what they need to do in the game against Calgary tonight is bite, bite, bite. I mean literally bite, not "bite" in that early-90's Winona Ryder synonym of "suck" way.

Brian Campbell is probably the finest swimmer (skater) on the Sharks, fast and graceful. He needs to keep that up, but he and his teammates ALSO have to be willing to totally deck a guy or two to send a message along the lines of, "We WON'T be intimidated by your bigger, scarier physicality, Mr. Flame. I can check just as hard, and twice as fast, etc. etc..." The Joe Thornton line has to make sure that Mighty Joe T's passing lanes aren't shut down, and that might require some heavy-handedness now and then. Apparently after the Sharks' 3-0 lead evaporated in Game 3, Evgeni Nabokov assumed the role of Playoff Team Leader and challenged his men to raise their game...resulting in a win in Game 4, thanks to actual production from Thornton and Campbell and a beautiful goal by Jonathan Cheechoo. I know that some Sharks fans have criticized Joe Thornton for not making 103 assists in the playoffs so far, but he really came through in the last game and it's obvious that he passionately wants to win. He'll only grow from here.

I'm hoping that Nabby leads them to another dramatic victory tonight, as I'm sure he can. Of all the Sharks Nabokov seems like the real team leader, the one most dedicated to his teammates, the one most unafraid to criticize himself, and the one who can inspire his comrades to make a heroic, game-raising effort. Might I toss his name into the MVP Hat? If the Sharks advance to the second round, I think he deserves it just as much as Ovechkin.

I'm expecting some serious biting action from Mike Grier and Jeremy Roenick tonight, by the way. Mark my words: before this series is over Mike Grier will have a goal and JR will have a decisive game-winner.

1 comment:

Big Shooter said...

I own that same hat that Grapes has on. Seriously.