The Family And The Fishing Net – Hawks at Sharks Preview, Pregame Thread, Satellite Uplink

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Game Time:
9:30PM Central
TV/Radio: CSN, NHL Net (Canada), WGN AM 720
Cage In The Water: Fear The Fin

While ten games into a season might be too soon for a “measuring stick” game in any other year, for this shortened campaign, that’s equal to over 20% of the entire season. Given that circumstance, it’s entirely appropriate for these two teams to use tonight to judge where they’re going for the rest of the year. Tonight features a matchup of the two best teams in the conference, with a grand total of 5 points lost between the two out of a possible combined 36, and a single solitary regulation loss.

That regulation loss currently belongs to the San Jose Sharks, whose impressive points streak to begin the season came to an end last night in Anaheim in a battle of backup goalies, as both Antii Niemi and Jonas Hiller sat in favor of Victor Fasth and Thomas Greiss respectively. Obviously that means old friend Nemo will be in the cage (GET IT?) tonight for the Sharks against his former mates, whom he has always played well against, sporting a 2-1-1 record with a .929 save percentage in four meetups last year. Everyone knows the drill with Nemo- he carries his glove hand incredibly low, so look for the Hawks to target that area specifically if given the chance.

The real story for the Sharks has been up front, however. Specifically Patrick Marleau and his ass-on-fire start to the season. Marleau leads the league with 9 goals in 9 games, and both he and linemate Joe Thornton are tied for third in points with 14. The other Joe, Joe Pavelski, and Logan Couture are also north of double digits in points in this young season, so the Sharks are boasting their usual scoring depth. Other old friends Martin Havlat and Adam Burish also find themselves in teal these days, and call it an upset that Havlat has appeared in all 9 games to this point without injuring himself after the lockout layoff.

On the blue line the Sharks added Brad Stuart from Scum in the offseason, who currently leads the Sharks in +/- with a +7, and has added some physicality and stability to the blue line, though hasn’t solved the issue of the Sharks D still being able to be beaten to the outside with speed. That the Sharks are scoring that much and their +/- leader is only at a +7 should indicate that they do a lot of damage on the power play, which they do, leading the league with 13 power play goals to this point, which will put the Hawks high-wire act penalty kill to the test. Quarterbacking that power play as usual will likely be the aging Dan Boyle, who while still fantastic 150 feet from his own net, has problems going the other way. Boyle missed last night’s game against the Ducks with the flu, but figures to be in the lineup tonight. The wet rat looking Brent Burns and his blast of a shot have yet to play this year, so that should give an indication as to just how well the power play unit is buzzing even without that asset.

As for the Men of Four Feathers, they’ll be coming into tonight with two days rest, facing a team who was on the road last night, so a poor start will be inexcusable. They’ll also be getting Dave Bolland back in the lineup, which is a mild relief after missing only one game due to an ankle injury that looked a lot worse at the time than it ended up being. Bolland figures to jump right back into the middle between the Patricks, though look for his usual assignment of irritating the shit out of Joe Thortnon to fall to Jonathan Toews. As was posted yesterday, that line is getting its skull caved in any advanced possession metric available, and maintaining the puck is what Thornton and Marleau do best. Should Q try to trot Bolland out against Jumbo, it could end up being a very, very long night for the Hawks. Should the Toews line have that job, the primary question will be how Brandon Saad will handle his first real two-way assignment. He’s been solid so far, but he’s had favorable zone starts, and not faced a rolling (albeit aging) juggernaut of a line like this. Something to watch for.

It will also be interesting to see how Quenneville deploys his blue line against the Sharks’ top unit. History would tell us that Keith and Seabrook would be saddled with that task as they have been for the past four years, but the fact remains that Oduya and Hjalmarsson have had the better of the play lately, and that’s been rewarded with increased icetime, frequently surpassing that of Marlboro 72. As of print time, there’s no word on whether Michal Rozsival will return to the lineup, so it’s reasonable to assume Sheldon Brookbank will once again be paired with Nick Leddy, though look for Brookbank to be used sparingly. This will all be in front of Corey Crawford, who gets the start after Ray Emery bailed the Hawks’ asses out with 45 saves in Calgary on Saturday.

The last time the Hawks and Sharks played a regular season game of this magnitude, Diamond Dave made his very first appearance down the block at the old address. No such outcome is guaranteed tonight, but the Hawks do sit in an advantageous spot being as well rested as a team can be this year. Both teams face their biggest test thus far in the season, with the importance of special teams looming large over the proceedings. Making those opportunities count will be crucial. Let’s Go Hawks.

  • WWW

    LET’S GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • justforkicks

    LETS GO HAWKS, WIN WIN WIN!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.hughes.359126 Dan Hughes

    Les go hocks!

    • High and Wide

      It’s a great night for ham in beautiful San Jose, California.

  • High and Wide

    May I just say that reading the phrase “As for the Men of Four Feathers” in game previews again has truly been a balm to the soul over the past few weeks.

    GO HAWKS!!!

    • Skags

      Agreed. It’s a McClurism that I’m especially fond of.

  • RossH

    I liked the point about the potential of Saad facing the Marleau-Thornton-Pavelski line as a his first real defensive assignment. That should be interesting to keep an eye on.

    Oh ya, Let’s Go Hawks.

  • cliffkoroll

    Still one of my all-time favorites:

    http://www.secondcityhockey.com/2010/5/13/1471256/im-talkin-about-workin-for-a-livin

    I’m talkin’ about sharkin’!

    • mightymikeD

      I’d forgotten about that.. BigC is some crazed, semi-alcoholic genius (I’m expecting him to take issue with the “Semi” in there)

  • Skags

    Lets go Hawks!!!

  • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

    … the Sharks have only two goals in their last two games. Hardly a trend, but when laid against our own troubles in that department it’s at least a little reassuring.

  • girlphoenix

    Fuck Brad Stuart

    • mightymikeD

      I thought that went without saying.. but well said, anyway

      • girlphoenix

        I’m pretty upset about Landeskog

        • mightymikeD

          I probably would be too, if I’d been over to MHH lately.. I’m just afraid that they’re all gathered on a ledge

          • pompoon

            I would not blame them…seems like there’s a special kind of panic you feel when the captain goes down.

  • mightymikeD

    Where’s Elvis? Dammit! Where?

    • Roy Batty

      Per FTF: “Elvis has left the building”

  • Chesterfield King

    For tonight, I cast aside my enjoyment of Shark’s Hockey, and generally awesome players (such as Couture and Pavelski), in favor of my true love: The Hawks.

    Let’s kick the shit outta those stupid teal assholes.

    • girlphoenix

      Teal is an awful color. (Actually, I’m lying. I kinda really like teal.)

      • Chesterfield King
        • girlphoenix

          Not enough teal.

          • mightymikeD

            I’ve said this before, however: Anyone named “Logan Couture” has no business doing anything other than being the villainous lothario in a daytime soap where the sets wobble.

          • Chesterfield King

            Also: being an awesome dude and being one of the best two way players on the team

          • Roy Batty

            Wutup with the Shark love???FUCK THE SHARKS!!!

          • Chesterfield King

            Born in Chicago, grew up in the Bay Area. Love watching both (The Hawks more, obviously).

          • Z-man19

            Did you bail out of the CGY game?

          • Chesterfield King

            I fell asleep before the third started, as I’m on the east coast and hadn’t gotten a lot of sleep. Woke up at 3:00 AM confused as fuck

          • Z-man19

            Confused the hawks won or was there an unknown person sharing your cot?

          • Chesterfield King

            I had no idea I’d fallen asleep. My computer was on my chest and my headphones were playing music but when I opened my eyes I couldn’t see anything cause it was totally dark

          • Z-man19

            I was hoping for a better story, work on it

          • Chesterfield King

            The continuation:

            I’d been sleeping on my arm so when I tried to move it I couldn’t control it and my hand landed on my neck and since I couldn’t feel anything in it I thought someone was choking me so I screamed and woke up my roommate.

          • AMR

            That is pretty funny

          • Z-man19

            Meh, still needs work

          • Chesterfield King

            fuggof, I’m not that interesting

          • Z-man19

            What, I thought you were Theworldsmostinterestingman :D

          • Chesterfield King

            I eat bagels alone at night in my room

          • Z-man19

            Think you missed the joke

          • Chesterfield King

            I did

          • Z-man19

            BLou? Returned as Theworldsmostinterestingman

          • Chesterfield King

            I did not know that

          • Roy Batty

            It’s Game Day, only one team matters…FUCK THE SHARKS!!!

          • Chesterfield King

            See the initial comment. Go Hawks.

          • Roy Batty

            No disrespect, just PUMPED UP with HAWK LOVE!!

          • Chesterfield King

            me too, buddy. me too.

          • AMR

            Where in the Bay Area? I was born in Illinois and grew up in the Bay Area as well

          • Chesterfield King

            Born in Evanston, moved to Walnut Creek/Concord when I was 3

          • AMR

            I grew up in Moraga and lived in Walnut Creek after college for a few years

          • Chesterfield King

            Very cool!

          • AMR

            Small world

          • DonCherryCollection

            From Illinois and you have an awesome Bay Area band referenced in your name makes you the coolest dude of the night.

          • Chesterfield King

            At this point it might be considered cliche to love Jawbreaker, but I don’t even care. That song (and band) are amazing.

          • mightymikeD

            Can’t get past the name.. sorry, I’m shallow…

          • Chesterfield King

            Entirely understandable. It’s a pretty shitty name.

  • QCBlackhawk

    I don’t remember a low glove being Neemo’s bag. I thought that was Huet’s signature.

  • Hi, I’m Bob LeDonne

    Hi, I’m Bob LeDonne, and this is BOB LEDONNE’S RIP OFF OF BWANA’S BEER OF THE DAY WHISKEY OF THE DAY HAIKU SLAM!

    Wheated bourbon is
    The best fucking whiskey yo!
    Gallimimuses

    The fourth whiskey is
    Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year
    So delicious MOOOOOO

    Good luck finding it
    Its hotter than sasquatch nuts
    Worth it if you find.

    Suggested price is
    Thirty four ninety nine but stores
    Are charging much more

    How much more you ask?
    A c note or a fidy
    Too much for Bobby

    Guess I’ll pick up a
    Weller 12 for twenty five
    Bucks. So tasty. MEOW

    • mightymikeD

      these haikus inspired me to make a refined, delicate painting of two birds. the lower bird is drinking its fill of Old Rip Van Winkle and is at peace with the Floating World. The upper bird has not gotta Fiddy to lay on some Premium Juice and thus sings harsh, discordant songs not unlike certain Hockey Fans who add a second syllable where there should only be o-one.

      http://www.britishmuseum.org/collectionimages/AN00782/AN00782894_001_m.jpg

    • Joe Banks

      That was so beautiful… sniff.

    • Bwana

      Well, I can’t compete with that…

      • Bwana

        p.s. I’m currently drinking a SNPA that someone left at my house the other day. Not sure if I’ll watch the game, have to be awake at 4:30. :(

  • Z-man19

    So no shit here, Glencross hit an open net, puts CGY up 2-0 on scum

    • High and Wide

      SLEEPER AGENT (poor dude, he’s earned a few)

  • http://twitter.com/VULTR3 Mike

    As a guy working in the Silicon Valley with all these janky bandwagon ass sharks fans, I say proudly “GO HAWKS!”

  • tazer19

    Is it justifiable to hope Toews gives Jackoff Joe a concussion tonight? Just askin’.

    • Chesterfield King

      It is not justifiable

    • pompoon

      Would 5 goals do instead?

      • Z-man19

        Make it 6 and its a deal

        • pompoon

          Done!

    • Joe Banks

      I’ve been thinking about that all day long.

    • birdhead

      Nah.

  • girlphoenix

    Oh man, the Hogs are so terrible. They’re playing Dallas’s AHL team tonight. They let in their first goal just over a minute in followed by their first penalty. That power play let in a goal. Surprisingly, they scored after that. Of course, that couldn’t last long as they let in another goal bringing the score to 3-1 Stars. 8 seconds after that goal, the Hogs again go on the PK when Pirri gets a double minor. Amazingly they actually kill that penalty. The Hogs can’t let that momentum go to waste, so then Olsen gets dumb and gets hit with a 5 minute major for boarding. The Stars, of course, score on it and then remain on the power play where they’ll be when the second period start.

    WHY ARE THEY LIKE THIS?

    • 2883

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Dent is let go soon… prior to the end of the year… the team just flat out lacks any type of discipline and penalties have been an issue all year. It’s one of those things that the big club won’t tolerate.

      • girlphoenix

        I think I saw a tweet or something from Block or someone else about how the organization has basically disenfranchised the coaching staff. I’m not exactly sure what that is supposed to mean though.

        • birdhead

          Presumably things like pushing Hayes to center, etc. Making it really clear that the Hogs’ success as a team is way less important than trying out experiments for the Hawks.

  • http://twitter.com/oregon_hawk Oregon_hawk

    No pants, Blackhawks Hoody (1-0-0, Gm6 2011 playoffs) on.

    Not that important of a game, but I want it.

  • Toews still makes funny faces!

    Poor SCUM, they are getting throttled by the old folks in Alberta!

    • High and Wide

      A real oldtimer’s league tilt there.

      • Accipiter

        Half slap shots only, oh, and no raising the puck.

        • Z-man19

          There are mess for that

  • Chesterfield King

    Blues are getting shelled by Nashville tonight

    • http://hesaid.midwestmentality.com/ JeromerInc

      Yes, yes they are. My co-workers currently hate me because I keep asking for their opinion on Pekka.

      • 2883

        I bet they secretly love Pekka…

    • QCBlackhawk

      Oh, the suffering is glorious.

      • QCBlackhawk

        Also, did anyone see Perron’s foot just get hit? He wanted the door to get back on the bench and it seems like the guys coming out shoved him back. Team love? :p

  • girlphoenix

    Well the Hogs decided to not be completely terrible. Two power play goals from Hayes and Morin and they’re now within 1 with the third left to play.

    • 2883

      I’m still a fan of Morin, I don’t see why he can’t provide a boost.

      • girlphoenix

        He’s had a point on every goal tonight. 2 helpers

  • Joe Banks

    GO HAWKS GO!

  • mightymikeD

    Nut crunching time.. and I’m awake for a Pacific-Time game.. Allons, ‘Awks!

  • CornelisonsFlagPointer

    Hi koo

  • girlphoenix