Avs @ Sharks

What a game to go to, uggghhh. There were some highlights (Stastny's pass to Hejduk on the SH goal was awesome, and I got to see Budaj play up to his potential which is sort of good).

Here's some of my observations from section 220 of the Shark Tank.

You always forget how skilled these players are until you watch them live. Just watching the Avs pass back and forth (which I got to see a lot of since they don't shoot) can be memorizing because they are that good. Unfortunately the Sharks were not as easily entertained as I was.

Budaj played a great game, but Thornton absolutely schooled him on the second goal. He faked, and Budaj bit going down to the butterfly. As Budaj recovered and opened his legs Thorton fired it right in the 5-hole. OF course the really bad play happened to be that Thronton didn't have an Avs player within 5 feet of him.

I think everyone has noticed this, but it was even more prevalent in person. The Avs are timid to shoot the puck. Really. Honest it's true. The only one looking to fire a shot seems to be Jeff Finger of all people. There was a 3 vs 2 break on the Avs, and the puck went to Hlinka and instead of firing a puck towards Nabokov and hoping for a rebound or something he calmly took the puck behind the net and tried to center. by the time he did that 2 more Sharks had gotten back and it was 4 sharks on Stastny. Obviously the puck bounced off someone's skate and into the corner (or went back out past to the blue line. I can't remember because live events don't have TiVo).

This goes along with the last point, but Ryan Smyth's stats are bad because the Avs aren't shooting. They are spending more time behind the net than in front of it and that's just not where he belongs. He's better on the rush crashing for rebounds and he's better on the point screening the goalie. God Shoot the puck Avs.

Not to pick on Hlinka, but he is always the weakest player on his skates on the ice. He is always getting knocked off the puck. Maybe it's an unfair observation because SJ is one of the strangest teams in the league. That's probably why he was getting 4th line action earlier this season.

Brett Clark's awfully idiotic penalty at the end of the game? That was a killer, not only was it on a play he originally had control of the puck on, but the entire SJ penalty kill was changing. There wasn't another Shark within 50 feet of Him and Thronton, yet there were 2 Avs on their way back out to help. Unbelievably bad penalty.

Some other notes: As I've been saying all along the Sharks have a pretty good an knowledgable crowd. In the second (or it could have been late first) period when the Sharks were really taking it to the Avs physically the crowd really got into it and was cheering every hit. The crowd was so excited that it started cheering for hits that weren't all that big. I'm surprised SJ has been as bad at home as they have this season.

The Jibblewife and I agree that the crowd does something so incredibly cheesy it made us laugh. When the Avs take a penalty (and it happened often) the music to "Jaws"comes up and they do the Florida "Gator Chomp". We thought it was funnyy.

As a visiting fan you expect to get crap for wearing the other teams Jersey (I wear the Red Sakic #19, the Jibblewife wears the Sakic All-star jersey from last season to blend in a little better). A tip of the Hat to the guys behind me in line for the restroom who talked about "Giving an opposing teams fan a swirly" but when I turned around going "Oh not you, but your hair is long enough, and that ain't no Rocky Mountain crisp water" Playful trash talk is always fun. Also kudos to the guy who yelled "Knock Sakic down" as I was taking said leak. Funny comments like that make it fun for home and opposing teams fans.

Wag of the Finger to the two guys who yelled "Avalanche Suck" as I walked by them. I hate to break it to them, but that's not very original. I mean you leave the house at night knowing you are going to see opponents fans right? You know you are going to taunt them right? You have some time to come up with something. Even something like "You buddy there's no snow here, you're just a fish out of water" Sure it's kind of lame but it at least shows you tried to put some effort into your trash-talk huh?

The SJ's mascot's name is S.J. Sharkie. No kidding. not quite Steeley McBeam (Pittsburgh Steelers) but pretty close.

Yes the Avs Jerseys are as ugly in person, even though I always thought the Whites were better than the Dark's

Anyways the most important thing is that I had a great time. Yes despite the loss, it was a lot of fun, and I always love going to games (even at $40/pop)

8 comments:

  1. P.S. If you're wondering why there are no shots of Nabokov in goal, even though he was at my side of the rink for 2/3rds the night it's because it was hard to get pictures of the Avs in front of him, and easy to get pictures of players in front of Budaj last night.

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  2. I don't know if the audio just wasn't picking it up, or if I wasn't paying enough attention: it sure seemed like the Shark fans booed Hannan every time he touched the puck...except they didn't start until there was about 10 minutes left in the game.

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  3. Yep, they definitely started booing him for whatever reason. I thought it was a pretty lame move by the fans.

    Did you make a trip down to L.A. to see if they reverse their fortunes, Jib? ;)

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  4. No that was about it, they didn't start booing him until 10 minutes left in the game.

    I found it kinda of shocking really. I have a few friends who are Sharks fans and none of them really has any ill will towards Hannan. I was pretty surprised.

    I think it started when he took his penalty midway or so through the second period. Some of the fans didn't appreciate something Hannnan did too much.

    and no, LA is an 8-hour drive from here, and I work on Monday

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  5. 1) Question: Are Av's fans booing Hannan?

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  6. Not to my knowledge (yet).

    Colorado Fans tend to have more patience than our East coast counterparts, but it will come soon if he doesn't shape up. He's been playing better the last couple games

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  7. It sounds like a little Jagr-play is rubbing off on the
    Avs??! Looking for pretty goals.

    Spector and others rumoring that you guys are shopping goalkeepers, looking toward Montreal....what have you heard?

    tdr

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  8. Please, DR, tell me you're kidding. The Avs don't need a goaltender so much as they need a stay-at-home d-man who will bang some opponents.

    We're top heavy with offensive defensemen and our defensive guru of a coach seems to lack the ability to coach defense to his forward units.

    The only reason to trade goalies is if we get a SIGNIFICANT upgrade, a phenom or something. Fleury and some of the other names mentioned wouldn't improve the position, just change the names and numbers of the guys in net.

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