On the off chance that this agonizing 5 day layoff between games 1 and 2 has allowed your focus to divert, even slightly, from a new season of Sharks hockey (can you imagine how much worse it would be had they lost game 1?) here’s a little question to keep the blood boiling:
Who are the players in the NHL that you least like to see score against San Jose?
Check out my top 10 list:
10. Tomas Holmstrom – Holmstrom sneaks onto the list because he plays for Detroit and because he’s a bit of a whiner for a guy who plays the game on the edge. But more than anything, it’s frustrating to watch a player that barely has the skill to be an AHL player be so successful in the NHL because he outworks people, especially when those people are Sharks defenders.
9. Teemu Selanne – For the record, I’m a huge Selanne fan. He’s a classy guy and an all world talent. But no NHL player has scored more goals (47) or had more points (93) against the Sharks than Teemu, and he’s spent much of his career playing for the rival Ducks. Then, when you factor in that he played 2.5 of the least effective years of his career in teal (not all his fault – he was horribly misused by Darryl Sutter) and missed a wide open wraparound in an elimination game, he’s done more than enough to earn himself the 9th spot.
8. Brian Campbell – “Soupy” was a much ballyhooed 2008 trade deadline acquisition of the Sharks, who then disappeared in the playoffs and ended up being about the only big ticket player Doug Wilson has ever traded for who didn’t sign a contract extension. There’s no rational reason to blame Campbell for running to the ludicrous payday that Chicago offered him, nor do root against him for not wanting to stay in a city that he had no say in being traded to. But I’m a fan, not a rational person. And so, to Mr. Campbell, I say boo, sir, and boo again.
With all that said, I suspect common sense (and the reality that he is now playing in relative anonymity in Florida) will soon win the day and I’ll finally let this one go.
6. Ryan Getzlaf – The phenomenally talented captain of the Ducks and center of their top line is very tough to play against. He’s willing to fight, hit and spray Gatorade at fans. But mostly, he makes this list because he’s a Duck, and really good at hockey. Adding insult to injury, the Sharks had two chances to draft Getzlaf in 2003, but instead went with Milan Michalek and Steve Bernier…
5. Chris Pronger – Many Sharks fans would have Pronger higher on this list, but as his career has progressed (and as he moved to the Eastern Conference) I’ve found my own personal disdain for him waning. Still, an all time top Sharks villain.
4. Sean Avery - Save 23 games for Dallas in 2008-09, it’s been over 5 years since San Jose has had to deal with Avery and his antics in the Pacific Division. Still, even all the way across the country in New York, Avery has continued to be a nuisance on the ice – and such a grating figure off of it – that I suspect even the fans of whatever team he is actually playing on have a hard time rooting for the guy. Currently, Avery is without a contract and his days in the NHL may mercifully be coming to an end. Hopefully, as NHL teams lose an interest in him, so too will anyone with a microphone.
3. Steve Ott – Steve Ott is one of the best agitators in the NHL today, and he plays on San Jose’s Pacific Division rival, the Dallas Stars. Constantly chirping, slashing, and grinning that mischeivious grin, Ott gets under the skin of opposing players the way very few others can.
2. Todd Bertuzzi – A thug and cheap-shot artist, who I’m guessing still makes #1 on Steve Moore’s list of Top 10 Worst Players to See Succeed in Any Way.
1. Corey Perry – Far and away my least favorite player in the league. He always hits hard, always talks trash, often plays dirty, and just looks like a punk.
To make matters worse? He’s really, really good. Like, recorded a hat trick against San Jose to put up his 48th, 49th and 50th goals of the season en route to being named MVP of the league last year
Worse yet? Perry’s name is on the cup, next to Getzlaf’s and Selanne’s.
Oh, and in case you forgot, when the Sharks finally get back on the ice this Friday, they will be squaring off against the Anaheim Ducks.
What do you think of the top 10 list? Agree? Disagree?
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Tags: Anaheim Ducks Brian Campbell Chris Pronger Corey Perry Mike Ribiero Milan Michalek Ryan Getzlaf San Jose Sharks Sean Avery Sharks Steve Bernier Steve Ott Teemu Selanne Todd Bertuzzi Tomas Holmstrom Top 10