Five Stages of Shark Grief and the Holy Stanchion


In a handful of seconds last night, during the San Jose Sharks series elimination loss to the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference Finals, I moved at Mach 4 speed through the classic stages of mourning over the loss of a game, a series, a chance for Stanley Cup glory and the devastating machinations of a phantom puck.

I can only imagine that my journey chronicled below echoed many of your very own feelings at the events that took place during yesterday’s Game 6.


That didn’t just happen.

There seems to be celebrating going on, but I didn’t just see what I think I just saw. Did I? I mean, the light is on. Weird. Everybody is milling around confused behind the net and looking up into the stands. It’s in the netting…that’s it, the puck must be in the netting.

But if so, then what’s with the puck that Antti Niemi just swept out of the net? Isn’t it stuck in the netting?  Where did that thing come from?  What, did it fall from the sky or something? And then there’s that cluster of Canucks celebrating—morons, they think the game is over.  Sorry knuckleheads.  Whatever, any second now they’re going to blow the whistle, and we’ll be back on track.

And now there’s confetti falling.

That is going to be such a mess to clean up in order to get play going again. Where are the Toronto NHL goal review magi doing to fix this cluster? Referees are conferring and probably just trying to figure out the confetti thing. Can you penalize a team for an over exuberant stadium employee? Delay of game?

This is just all a mistake. The puck clearly went up in the netting, bounced down (I guess), and then was sent into the net.

After they get the ice cleaned up…


The freakin’ STANCHION?!

That’s how the bloody game and series is going to end?! That’s what’s going to close the book on the San Jose Sharks this season? Really, an odd ball carom off the stanchion. All we’re missing here is a “Grassy Knoll” and a crappy acting job by Kevin Costner to round this out—“Magic JFK Bullet” meet “Magic Rogers Centre Puck”.

Oh, and of course it goes right to the idiot that beat Patrick Marleau‘s face in, so that the great fight-dodger can half-connect on the game winning patented heeled floater shot? Kevin Bieksa…watching him in the handshake line now making eye contact with Ryane Clowe for the first time all series. Nice work coward. Sure, why not. You can’t be serious. Honestly, FREAKIN’ BIEKSA of all players…that’s just GREAT.

Now that the television reviews are just rolling in earnest, dropping more salt on the wound with every HD rendered angle, how about that great missed call Mr. Referee at the end of regulation. Idiots. Aren’t you guys supposed to be the cream of the crop referees? The elite picked for the Stanley Cup Playoffs? Real elite you bat, the whole world just saw that puck go off his shoulder.

But NOOOOOO, let’s call an icing in the closing seconds of an elimination game!

So thanks for nothing and an awful job to you Kozari…or Walkom. Or both or you. Where is Kerry Fraser for Pete’s sake? Consider yourself lucky guys. If we were in Montreal right now, and your idiotic anti-call had just cost the Habs the series, the “City of Saints” would be a giant flambé of burning police cars, guttural wailing and outward projections of ritual hatred towards all things NHL referee and…well… probably English too, let’s not kid ourselves.


If only we had strengthened the blue line after Rob Blake retired. We were thin on D all year, but still mustered on and just made due…we should have targeted more talent. Sure, Ian White was a great pickup, but we needed at least two more of him. Yeah, Doug Murray was the hammer of Thor, Marc-Edouard Vlasic continued his improved play and Jason Demers was a great addition, but I guess even had Demers been healthy, the so-called injury depleted Vancouver defensive core would have still played better than us…and with their backups.

Why didn’t the referee just stop to converse a little on that icing call that led to the Vancouver Canucks tying up the game? They really should institute something across the NHL to ensure that calls like this don’t get made again. Maybe I should write a letter. Yes, that’s what I’ll do. Just maybe if he had called the druids in Toronto, and taken a split second before making such a crucial call. Maybe then, we could have polished off that last half minute and would be playing Thursday. Maybe.


I can’t believe this is happening again. I thought I felt bad last year after going through the Chicago Blackhawks meat grinder, but this feels even more empty—effin’ Dustin Byfuglien. Thing is, we felt totally overmatched last year against the ‘Hawks, and the result, though horribly painful, seemed almost honest. This though? A bad bounce after 56 shots?…please no more Green Men shots.

Another long year ended by being kicked to the curb in the Western Conference Finals, and another summer of what-ifs? They’ll probably blow up the team, I mean they shouldn’t, but Doug Wilson looks as though somebody just ran over his dog…or dogs.

On second thought, he looks worse. I need a hug…where’s Jamie Baker? On second thought, where’s Drew Remenda?

I should have gone to more games. I should have at least traveled to Vancouver to support the team.  I’m sorry. Why do they keep losing my press pass application? Probably was that story slamming Patrick Marleau. Seriously, they protect that guy like he’s royalty or something. Sorry alright, I like emotive players on the ice, and ergo, Marleau bugs the “Holy Jumpin’ Panger” out me sometimes…was just exercising a little Freedom of Speech you lifeguards…so petty.

Or maybe, they just haven’t heard of me or the wonder that is Blades of Teal…actually, upon reflection, that seems far more plausible. Yeah, well screw the bourgeoisie and war unwashed blogosphere!!!


It is what it is.

The San Jose Sharks battled their hearts out, and nobody can throw around that scalding, derisive team of “passengers” any more when talking about the men on this year’s squad. They peppered Roberto Luongo all series, fought through separated shoulders, bum hands, picked unwinnable fights to make a point, taped up sprains, dealt with concussions and surmounted numerous other unspoken injuries to display to the world the very best character that a hockey team could display.

In short, the Sharks made us all proud and reminded us what a phenomenal group of players they are, and what a treat it is to call them our very own.

Finally, I hereby affirm to chase no personal badge of courage by trying to deny to my heart the magical puck my eyes just witnessed 12 times on replay…the specter that sealed the Sharks’ fate.

I will instead bury that anger and disbelief deep down inside like a real man does, probably kick a can around the house for a couple days and annoy the hell out of my fiancée. I’ll probably mumble about top-4 D signings in my sleep for while and avoid wearing green, but will wait to officially purge the cobwebs of loss in the best possible way on Earth this weekend…the only way to really clear the head of any dark toxins of utter disappointment.

I’m going to go play some pickup.

Yerba Buena Ice…Sunday at 6AM…catch you there.

Game on.


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