A gallery of Sharks' sadness


sharksfan.jpgBrandon covered the essential bases of that Shakespearean tragedy of a Sharks-Avalanche last night. He did well to mention the horrific Dan Boyle mistake*, Craig Anderson’s masterful 51-save performance and include highlights of the game. Still, I cannot help but weigh in a bit and then provide some reactions via Sharks fans and bloggers.

Before the series even started, I asked a simple question: instead of being chokers, are the San Jose Sharks just really unlucky? Boy, has that ever come to pass. I don’t care how snarky you attempt to be, there’s no way you’re going to tell me that losing a game in which you out-shoot the other team 51 to 16 constitutes a “choke job.” In the last two years, the Sharks have run into hot goalies in Jonas Hiller and Craig Anderson. They’re creating chances and playing good defense. They just cannot get a break.

So, yeah, I feel for Sharks fans and the team itself. Here’s a quick gallery of reactions from the game; some are from blogs and some are from Twitter. Check them out after the jump.

nabbysad.jpgEarl Sleek (Battle of California’s Anaheim Ducks blogger) made this rather harsh but brilliant point in the post-game thread.

Just to make sure I have this straight.

Rob Blake scores one past Nabby in G1.
M.E. Vlasic scores one past Nabby in G2.
Dan Boyle scores one past Nabby in G3.

I guess my money is on Huskins for G4. Place your bets now.

Fear the Fin’s Mr. Plank had this (appropriately) melodramatic reaction.

Forces beyond San Jose’s control have descended, coyly manipulating the direction of pucks, pushing bounces one way or the other. The official box scores, written by mortal men and women across the United States, will tell you Chris Stewart and Ryan O’Reilly have had a pair game-winning goals between them.

A demon from the depths of darkness will cackle maniacally and know that this is not the case.

Down Goes Brown had this gem:

Let’s just combine the world’s two biggest meltdowns and call them the San Jose Canseco Sharks

PuckTales artist and CouchTart Gray wrote this on Twitter: “I suppose it could be worse, Sharks fans. We could be Cubs fans.”

Gray wrote another sad but interesting Tweet.

We have to be cursed. There’s just no other way to make sense of it. Why us/ Why not like, uhm….those guys over there?!

Here’s two Tweets from schtimpy27.

@HockeyJoeGM “It’s just demoralizing. We’re a laughing stock. Again. It’s beyond old.”

@CouchTarts and this guarantees that for how many more years. I’m used to the failure, but need they do it so spectacularly?

Finally, mymclife from Fools and Sages wraps it all up.

It’s official. The Sharks are cursed.

Braun out with upper-body injury; Zubrus to make Sharks debut

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The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.

Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.

“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”

Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.

Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.

Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.

Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer

Johansen calls trade rumblings ‘weird,’ says relationship with Torts is ‘great’

Ryan Johansen
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One day after reports surfaced of Ryan Johansen being at the center of trade talks, all parties involved from Columbus did what they’re supposed to do — downplay the situation.

You can read the denials in full over at the Dispatch, but here’s the gist:

— Johansen said the rumors were “weird” and that he’s “never seen it before.” He also said there were no issues between him and head coach John Tortorella, calling the relationship “great.”

— GM Jarmo Kekalainen wouldn’t address the report, nor would Johansen’s agent, Kurt Overhardt.

— Johansen added he hasn’t spoken to any of Columbus’ management about the trade rumblings.

So there’s that. What’s next?

At this stage of the game, it’s hard not to think about another Overhardt client, Kyle Turris.

Turris, you’ll recall, spent four (mostly) stormy years with the Coyotes before his trade out to Ottawa was orchestrated. Turris eventually told GM Don Maloney “this is not going to work out” with the club, and he was gone.

So, consider the similarities now:

— Turris was 22 at the time of the trade, with four years and 137 games under his belt.

— Johansen is 23, with five years and 291 games.

— Both had contentious contract holdouts with their respective clubs.

— Both are Overhardt guys.

— The Turris trade happened after the Coyotes went from Wayne Gretzky to Dave Tippett as head coach.

— Johansen is already on his third head coach (Scott Arniel, Todd Richards, Tortorella).

For now, these are all coincidences (or a forced narrative, depending what you think of the author).

And, of course, the one big — big — difference between the two is that, at the time of his trade, Turris wasn’t as good or established a player as Johansen currently is. Therefore, logic suggests any Johansen trade would be a lot more blockbuster-y and, therefore, probably more complex.

And as we know, complex deals aren’t easy to pull off.

Flyers’ Gagner to miss another week after Malone hit

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The nasty blow Sam Gagner took in Monday’s game against Carolina will keep him on the shelf for a little bit.

On Wednesday, Flyers GM Ron Hextall said the club expected Gagner to be out around a week with injuries suffered on the hit, delivered by ‘Canes forward Brad Malone (per the Inquirer).

Gagner suffered a fairly significant facial laceration, which forced him from the game entirely. He didn’t practice on Tuesday and, in a corresponding move, the Flyers called up Colin McDonald from the AHL to fill Gagner’s spot on the roster.

This is the second facial injury Gagner’s suffered in recent years. He’d previously had his jaw broken by an errant Zack Kassian high stick, while he was with the Oilers and Kassian the Canucks.

Prior to getting hurt, Gagner had two goals and five points in 18 games, averaging just under 12 minutes per night.

‘It’s absolutely not true’ — Lemieux denies report of ‘big falling out’ with Crosby

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 5:  Sidney Crosby #87 and Mario Lemieux #66 of the Pittsburgh Penguins share a few words during a break in action against the New Jersey Devils in their NHL opening night game at the Continental Airlines Arena on October 5, 2005 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  The Devils won 5-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Well, that didn’t take long.

Just hours after Matthew Barnaby went on the radio and said he’d heard that Sidney Crosby and Mario Lemieux had had a “big falling out,” Lemieux came out and denied it.

“It’s absolutely not true,” said Lemieux, per the club’s Twitter account. “It’s silly.”

Today marked the second time in less than two weeks that the Penguins have been forced do some damage control.

Last week, the Penguins insisted that they weren’t actually “mad at each other,” as Evgeni Malkin had put it after a bad loss to New Jersey.

“He did not mean we are mad at each other,” said Crosby. “He meant we are frustrated.”