Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dangerous Waters: Sharks Visit Capitals in Rare Sighting

Tomorrow night, the Capitals hope to put an end to the frustrating losing skid they've been on as they take on the rarely seen San Jose Sharks.

These are not last season’s President’s trophy winning Sharks who shocked the hockey world by getting run out of the Stanley Cup playoffs in the first round. After some off-season shakeups (which included yanking the captaincy from Patrick Marleau), the Sharks are doing their best to forget last season’s disappointing playoffs and re-emerge as the Western Conference’s most elite club.

And they’re not off to too shabby of a start. New Sharks poster boy Dany Heatley was named the NHL’s First Star for the week ending October 11. He led the NHL in points for the week with eight as the Sharks recorded two wins in three games. Seems that he’s recovered from all the tomfoolery of this summer – which featured more rumors and paparazzi trying to discover his ultimate destination than a TMZ Gosselin/Lindsay Lohan marathon. Of course all this madness followed his demand for a trade and less-than-hasty retreat from the Ottawa Senators, after kvetching about his ice time and other matters under head coach Cory Clouston.

Veteran Joe Thornton is hard-charging out of the gates as well, kicking in nine assists in six games. Center Patrick Marleau and defenseman Dan Boyle both have six points on the season, with youngster Devin Setoguchi closely following with five. And watching the Sharks crease is net minder Evegeni Nabokov with a .907 save percentage (Jose Theodore’s save percentage currently stands at .908).

The Sharks stand second in their division behind the Los Angeles Kings (um, that sounds weird) with six points. Their last loss came at the hands of the resurgent Phoenix Coyotes, in a 1-0 shootout. They are at the start of a long East Coast road trip, which will pit them against the Caps, Rangers, Islanders, Lightning and Heatley’s old team, the Atlanta Thrashers.

So in preparation for our infrequent visitors from the Golden State, Coach Boudreau has been doing some more of his line change experiments. Based on his performance against the Devils on Monday, HM expects to see Jose Theodore in net tomorrow night. While it’s not time to panic yet (HM keeps reminding herself where those pesky Cup-winning Penguins were in the standings last season – at the midway point, no less) – there's no question, we need a win, boys!

And all you fellow hockey moms and youth players out there will share my marvel at this ridiculously sick goal from a Pee Wee player in the Boston area. I sense a future NHLer in the making?
(stick tap to the always fun and fabulous Puck Daddy)

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