Sunday, November 20, 2005

recovering Sharks welcome Ricci's visit

Restaurants around HP Pavilion comes back to life with revival of NHL, and to my dismay the BBQ Bar & restaurant about 1/2 block away from Sharks tank was so booked that I had to walk away from food at 7:14pm not wanting to be late for 7:30pm game. Lesson learned was first BBQ isn't good when there's no game nor crowds, and second that be in the queue for food way before 6pm to get a bite of babyback rib for 7:30pm game.

The Bar/waiting area was fully equipped with some five different TV mounted to wall displaying different NHL games and a Stanford vs Berkeley college football in the corner. The nearest TV to where I was sitting had Philly playing against Pitsburg 5 to 3, winning by 2. With Sharks' late streaks of losing game it wasn't all that funny to see Penguins being slammed left and right. Someone behind said something about Rathje in Flyers, our Mike Rathje. Boy, was I out of sync or what? With all the rule changes and player tradings that happened, I didn't even realize Rathje being traded. Saw him a few times on ice as well as sitting out on a penalty for 2 minutes. Penguins, when there were only3 minutes left, pulled the goalie out as most of actions were at Flyer's goal. Unlucky for Penguins this gave Flyer another chance to score and the game ended 6:3. Hope this isn't Sharks fate tonight!!!

When we finally left restaurant in empty stomache it was a bit too late to take a chance at another restaurant's long line, so we headed to the Sharks tank. Maybe it was my impatience not wanting to miss the game, or maybe it was my growling stomache emtpy with anticipation of babyback rib, but the lady working at hotdog stand was super super slow and was making about everybody waiting on line cranky. Only if I'd known. I picked shortest line, yet it was about three times as slow as lines surrounding me left and right. I sure wan't having a good night.

The game opened as I was taking last bite of hotdog by this lady singer who seem about a note lower than most of singers and a bit of slurriness in her pronounciation. As I was told Ricci received warm welcoming by the crowds wearing Phoenix' red jersey w/ number '40' on his back. Like most Sharks' guys he had a clean haircut, making him look much sharper.

First period opened disasterously with Coyote scoring 2 goals almost within first 4-5 minutes. Having obnoxious, loud and drunk people surrounding us didn't help much either. And, a girl sitting behind me was constantly yelling 'Sarks, you can do it. It's easy for you' which sounded more like 'sucks' than 'sharks'. Oww~~~ how annoying. The first one, I told myself was lucky one. 2nd? oh well. I have to admit our passes were pretty unconnected, and a few times players fell as if they're amateurs.

After disappointing, almost laughable first period I hoped that second period would be better than the first, just like last wednesday's game. Sadly it wasn't any better. Passes were still very much disconnected, speed slow and sluggish, while Coyotes' guys were making passes through our guys left and right. No Power Play helped, and as there were an occassion of 5 on 3 due to two Coyotes in penalty at the same time.

It looked as though only fun part of the game was the fight Thornton had at the beginning of the first period. He's been back for like 2 or 3 games since the injury and kept him from playing last 5 or 6 games.

The third period opened with not much more expectation, but wham! Sharks made a spectacular recovery and scored with first few minutes of third period. The period that began hopeless at 1:3 now is at 2:3, and I prayed inwardly 'just one more'. Oh well, I guess I shouldn't have done that because that's how the game went. With another cherry-picking victory of 3rd score, now we are tied and there's 10minutes to go in the game. Both team fierce, the last 10minutes were pretty well played but neither team scored. That means another 5minutes on ice, 4 on 4, and about latter 1/2 of the game was power play for Sharks which didn't help much anyways. As Sharks haven't been so successful at shoot-out, I was worried. Nabi successfully fended the goal for first shot and we did score 1st shot so it seem not so impossible to win this game. Paddy, the team captain that seem unusually sluggish today, was 2nd to shoot and he didn't score. Eventually the game ended 4:3, a victory to Phoenix Coyotes. Losing to a team from desert, Phoenix, Arizona, was a bit of a stink.

But with last 2 games lost during shoot-out, and seeing Thornton and Hannan playing pretty steady games, it made me hope that perhaps we're slowly getting back together and may do ok this season.
Afterall we did have a year off due to the union dispute, and afterall there were much rules changes and player tradings to consider.

Go Sharks! Go Sharks...

Maybe it's time I pickup my skates again and carry the hockey stick.


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