Thursday, August 28, 2008

NHL Guide: San Jose Sharks

Finally cashing in on Razor Catch Prey's fine idea, then.

It's no secret that I love the finned denizens of HP Pavilion. After the mighty Thrashers they're my second favorite team in all the universe. Why, you ask?

Well, first thing's first. Joe Thornton. He might well be my second favorite hockey player...hell, it's probably more accurate to say that he's my favorite human hockey player. The Czar, as we all know, is some kind of Russia-dwelling demi-god.

Speaking of the Czar, I genuinely think there's a correlation between Thornton and Kovalchuk. If Ovechkin is roughly analogous to Sidney Crosby on the NHL Goal-Scoring Monsters to Assist-Machine Centers spectrum, Kovalchuk is Joe Thornton.

Think about it: they're both thrilling players, blessed with superhuman accuracy and a shot that seemingly comes from nowhere and--via laser beam--ends up in goal. Or in Thornton's case, on the tape of Cheechoo or Michalek or Marleau. Then into goal. Kovalchuk can score goals from anywhere, it seems (of course he has his favorite spots, like his One Timer Perch during the power play), and Thornton can pass the puck from anywhere. Finest center in the game today, if you ask me. I've always said, comrades, that my Heart Attack Line is Kovalchuk-Thornton-Iginla.

DID he see Marleau's reflection in the glass?

It's not just that Thornton is a magical player. He's a supercool guy as well, a goofy and lovable personality. Have I ever mentioned his facial hair?

But back to the Sharks. It's amazing that they have a player of Thornton's calibre but insist on having OTHER amazing players as well. This seems the logical place to talk about the marvels of Nabby.

What is there to say, really? He dances around in not unMooselike manner (though with a Russian twist), makes jaw-dropping save after jaw-dropping save, and uh, uh...well, look at his season-closing performance this year:

I enjoy Nabokov's personality as well. He's a quiet, meditative type, a good foil to Thornton's adolescent charm. He seems to be the responsible adult of the Russian national team. Did I mention he's a blinding goalie?

But it doesn't end there, folks. Oh no. The Sharks have Patrick Marleau as well.

He looks like a giant puppy, but he's one of the finest power forwards around, in my opinion. His last season was sub-par, certainly, but I have no doubt he'll be back to his old self come October (how long IS it 'til October?). I mean, what more could you want out of an NHL forward? He scores plenty of goals, allows himself to get banged up more than Ryan Malone, and bangs people up in return. All the while looking like a giant puppy.

And he likes Formula One! And he has (if I remember correctly) a hot wife! What's not to love? God bless him.

Then there's the Cheechoo Train from Moose Factory. There's a lot of things I like about Jonathan Cheechoo, but the most appealing thing about him (aside from the name of his home town) is that when he gets in a fight, he smiles the entire time. I think that wears his opponents down more than punches. He seems like a kind, sincere sort of fellow. I'd love to have him on the Thrashers.

There are plenty of other things I love about the Sharks. Milan Michalek is a fine speedy winger who might one day evolve into a Hossa-esque player. And I can't imagine how awesomely cool the Sharks will become when Rob Blake hits the ice with them next season. For now, I'd like you to direct your attention towards the two GREATEST things about the Sharks:

As the ancient proverb says: "Hit Joe Thornton, get punched in the head by Mike Grier."

and finally...


Razor Catch Prey said...

Beautiful. This was a tour de force which built up to a true crescendo with the videos of Mike Grier and JR.

Now we need French and Shooter to regale us with their odes to the Canucks and Oilers, respectively. Or is French more of a Blackhawks man these days?

Mortimer Peacock said...

He still loves his Whalers, but I think he's trending towards Kane and the Hawks.