Welcome back to the Great State of Colorado San Jose Sharks Fans, a place whose perfection only Bob Ross himself (rest in peace) could ever truly capture:
…Let’s grab some Prussian Blue and put a little silly Scott Hannan over there under that tree…get a little dash of Van Dyke Brown on your brush…thereeee…just a happy little Hannan hid back there…he ain’t hurtin’ nobody…just poutin’ because he got beat again is all…
Yes, welcome back to the land of Jack Dempsey, John Elway, Dante Bichette and the Colorado Avalanche. The last time through these parts, the San Jose Sharks beat the Avalanche 4-2 behind Joe Pavelski’s two power play goals and Antero Niittymaki’s 31 saves. It was the jet-lagged Sharks first win in North America on the season, and back in October, the team used this game to make a statement to the rest of the League–that statement being that they were capable of actually winning a sanctioned NHL hockey game outside of Northern Europe.
Thankfully, we are now setting our sights on loftier goals, but might have a beast on our hands tonight…or a lamb. If you thought the Sharks battled characterizations of being inconsistent, welcome to your 2010-2011 Colorado Avalanche!
The Avs have split their last six games, but it’s how they have done it that has to be infuriating to the average John Denver listening Avs fan…insomuch as a John Denver fan can actually get infuriated.
In their last three victories, Colorado has put up a blistering total of 21 goals and looked like world beaters, absolutely scoffing at the “too young” criticisms laid upon them by experts and blowing opposing teams out. However, in the three losing efforts during this stretch, Colorado has registered a grand total of four tallies, and looked like a totally over-matched junior team replete with the requisite mistakes, blown assignments and giveaways you would expect.
On the flip side, the Sharks are a much different team this time around. Winners of four out of their last five, San Jose has replaced the sloppy play and inconsistencies found early in the year, with solid production across three lines. They have seen the emergence of Calder Trophy (bet your Prius) hopeful Logan Couture, and have created for the Shark Faithful the comforting image of a bona fide tier-one NHL squad that we are all used to.
If the Sharks desire to continue their strong play and dispatch the helter-skelter Avalanche tonight, they had better account for Chris Stewart. This kid is looking like a very legit threat to break into the 35-40 goal territory, and has already logged 10 goals and 10 assists on the year. Stewart plays in the corners, mixes it up with the best of them and the fact that he has just as many goals as none other than Alexander Ovechkin, is no fluke.
The Sharks will bring a ton of confidence into the Pepsi Center tonight, and an early couple goals against Peter Budaj should do the trick of putting the thought of another blowout loss into the Avalanche’ heads. That said, with two young D on the blue line tonight in Derek Joslin and Mike Moore pressed into service due to injuries, and one of those guys (Moore) literally fresh off the Worcester Express, any complacency by San Jose might be rewarded with a nice five-goal-spot in the grill if they’re not careful.
A big help to the back end this evening will no doubt come from Mr. Jason Demers, and check out the Fear the Fin blog for a great feature on everybody’s favorite number #60. Seriously though Jason, #60 is the number you’re rolling out with? You need a number less like that of a early-report-just-happy-to-be-invited-to-Spring-Training San Francisco Giants utility infielder. Just saying…single digits maybe?
Go Sharks, and I’m off to find a Bob Ross video of him putting a Great White Shark in the middle of some sleepy mountain lake, preferably with his jaws around an Abominable Snowman. It’s a highly specific search I’ll grant you, but I’m feeling lucky Google…hit me!
Gimme just a touch of Liquid Opal there and lil’ Midnight Black for our shark…perfect…gonna make some big decisions in our lil’ world today…
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