- More on Nabokov's injury in the third period, and the split goaltending shutout by Nabokov and Schaefer from SJsharks.com
The split goaltending duties came when Nabokov tweaked his groin in the third period. He is questionable for Toronto.
- Ross McKeon of the SF Chronicle claims that Joe Thornton is the Sharks first legitimate superstar
in the prime of his career. That is a very bold statement, but one that I think is not accurate. Joe Thornton does not become the best player to put on San Jose Sharks teal until he scores goal #45 or brings San Jose its first Stanley Cup Championship.
Until that time, that title belongs to Owen Nolan in my small corner of the hockey blogosphere. But I can be bribed. Email from Pat: "Patrick Marleau?".
Patrick Marleau, Jonathan Cheechoo, Rob Davison... my statement above is open ended.
- Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Tim Panaccio quotes former Sharks defenseman Mike Rathje
on the Joe Thornton trade.
"I don't really understand the trade," said Flyers defenseman Mike Rathje, who played in San Jose. "San Jose gave up a lot. Here's a kid (Stuart) who can play 20 to 25 minutes and can play power play and penalty-kill."
- Game over. 10 game losing streak over. San Jose Sharks down the Buffalo Sabres 5-0. Joe Thornton was named player of the game with 2 assists.
- According to the Buffalo radio broadcast, the Sabres have never been shut out 5-0 at home. According to the Sharks FSBA telecast, the Sharks have never taken a point with a win or a tie in Buffalo.
- Nabokov out middle of the third period, Nolan Schaefer comes in as a replacement. More soon.
- Sharks defenseman Doug Murray, in his first NHL game, and Buffalo center Chris Thorburn, just traded a pair of checks. During training camp and a few practices, you noticed Murray by the sound of people being crushed to the ice. At 6,3 and 240 pounds, Murray has a lot working for him in the force = mass X acceleration equation.
More on Doug Murray from the San Jose Sharks 11/30 prospect report:
DOUG MURRAY: Earned first point of the season on 10/14/05 assisting on PP goal from former U of Cornell teammate Mike Iggulden…Suffered injury on 11/02/05…Returned on 11/11/05 @ Hamilton and registered an assist…Scored first goal of season on 11/25/05 @ Hamilton
- Martin Biron made a pair of saves on Joe and Scott Thornton. He is holding it close. Faceoff comparison
halfway through the third period, Sharks 22-50 [44%], Buffalo 28-50 [58%.]
Alyn McCauley is 0 of 6, Marcel Goc 3 of 9, Patrick Marleau 5 of 8, and Joe Thornton is 13 of 22. Tim Connolly [8-14] and Chris Drury [9-18] are the best face off men for Buffalo.
gets my vote.
- Buffalo looks like they entered prevent offense mode. They are having trouble just getting out of their zone. Maxim Afinogenov takes another penalty for the Sabres, Sharks power play with 15 minutes left in the period.
- 2nd intermission, Sharks lead 5-0. Buffalo Sabres have 17 total shots
on goal, San Jose Sharks 19. Biron has only faced 2 shots in the second half of the first period, and 5 in the second. Buffalo color analyst says the Sabres have no illusions about coming back to win this game. If I was in the lockerroom and I hear that statement, someone is going to get a fighting major in the third. Or two.
Buffalo has five consecutive victories, and achived 17 of the last possible 18 points. Barry Melrose labeled the Sabres the hottest team
in the NHL.
One of the big reasons for the Sabres' success is their power play -- they have the fourth-best in the league (21.7 percent). Another reason is their high level of skating, a big plus in the new NHL. Daniel Briere, Chris Drury, Ales Kotalik and Tim Connolly are just some of the great skaters.
The team is also stable. It has a good mix of veterans and youngsters. The Sabres also are winning without a 100-percent lineup (Briere and J.P. Dumont are battling injuries), so there is the potential for them to be even better. Scary thought.
Atlanta Thrashers GM Don Waddell is in the building, probably not for Buffalo. I have to wonder if Nabokov has lost his "untouchable" status, but Waddell could just be scouting the Sharks for Thrashers game in San Jose Tuesday. The Thrashers play in Buffalo December 30th.
Evgeni Nabokov made 3 highlight saves in the second, one on a breakaway, a second on a scramble in front of the net, and a third sliding across the crease to rob a Sabre of a goal.
- Tom L from Sabre Rattling
wrote this about the Buffalo defense yesterday after the win over Montreal.
- The Sabres special teams continue to bail them out of tight situations. Last night both the Power Play (Drury's highlight-reel roofer over Theodore's shoulder) and the Penalty Kill (1:45 long 5 on 3 that kept the game 2-1) played a major role in their getting to OT for Campbell's GWG.
- Our team defense is becoming scary. Tonight we limited the Canadiens to just 18 shots in regulation, that includes taking an uncharacterstic 7 minor penalties.
Buffalo broadcasters also mentioning how the Sharks and Sabres are two of the least penalized teams in the NHL.
- A tussle between Gaustad and newly called up defenseman Doug Murray
. Sharks get an extra, looks like an instigator.
- Buffalo just had a 3-on-1 breakaway. Evgeni Nabokov stoned Maxim Afinogenov. Coverage of the game so far has been slanted heavily in favor of the Sharks, but the same goes for the action on the ice. Switching to the Buffalo WGR 550AM radio feed from the game thanks to NHL radio
Is it just me, or does the red Buffalo jersey with the black spot and two crossed sabres look like they got the last costume left in the Halloween store? Sorry Buffalo Sabres, you have to dress as pirates this season.
- Sharks score on a 5-on-3 power play at 2:09 into the second period, 5-0 San Jose Sharks. Jonathan Cheechoo gets his ninth goal on the power play with assists by Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.
- A question from Allison in Boston, "Did Joe Thornton make the front page of the local paper?"
Thornton made the front page of the San Jose Mercury sports section. Rain beat him out for the front page
. Rain, and any temperature below 60 is big news in San Jose.
- Another goal. 4-0 San Jose. The scoresheet
is filling up quickly. Josh Langfeld with men on him, dishes a long pass to Niko Dimitrakos up high and right in the slot. Dimitrakos puts yet another one timer past Buffalo goaltender Noronen. Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff pulls Noronen, and Martin Biron is getting the call one night after Biron made 18 saves in a 3-2 OT win
over the Montreal Canadiens.
- Stevenson gets the puck on a Buffalo turnover in their own zone. Stevenson passes it back to Milan Michalek in the middle of the slot, and Michalek one-timed it past Noronen. 3-0 San Jose. Still more than 10 minutes left in the first period.
- Joe Thornton drives wide right around #19 for Buffalo like he was standing still. Another Buffalo defenseman is too late to check him and Joe backhands a pass to Jonathan Cheechoo who fires one home. 2-0 San Jose.
- The puck has been in the Buffalo defensive zone most of the first five minutes of the game. A shot from the slot bounces off Mika Noronen to his right. Grant Stevenson collected the puck and fired a backhand up high for the first goal of the game. 1-0 Sharks. Announcers said it was Marleau, Michalek, Stevenson on a line, but I can't verify that.
- Joe Thornton hit the post 10 seconds into the game.
- San Jose Sharks coach Ron Wilson says Joe Thornton will skate on a line with his cousin Scott Thornton and winger Jonathan Cheechoo because he wants established players who will play hockey, instead of watching Joe skate with the puck.
- An example of the affect Joe Thornton will have on the local San Jose sports scene, take a look at this ticket offer from Soraya van Dillen of the San Jose Stealth
NLL lacrosse team.
With our trade yesterday for NHL standout Joe Thornton, we have had many
many people taking us up on our offer of free Sharks tickets with
purchase of a Stealth season ticket Package. If you purchase season
tickets, you will receive four FREE tickets to the December 6th game and
see Joe Thornton's home debut here at the Shark Tank in San Jose. This date is expected to fill up extremely quickly and we only have a small window to
offer the promotion for this specific game. For more information, call 408.999.5796
- If you are going to read one article today, read Ex-Sharks sink their teeth into fresh start
by Amalie Benjamin in the Boston Globe. If you are going to read two articles, read that Boston Globe article and this Liveblog.
This quote by Marco Sturm is priceless:
"None of us are Joe Thornton," said Stuart, who played more minutes (23:45) than anyone not named Brian Leetch (26:55). "We're not going to pretend to be. He was, obviously, a big part of this team and a big part of this city. There's going to be a little bit of bitterness from certain people. I don't think that's anything for us to worry about. We're just going to go out and do what we do."
Or, in the simplicity of a laughing Sturm's assessment: "That's why they got three of us."
Sharks fan trapped in Boston, LDS, emails in about Sturm, Stuart, and Primeau's opening night with the original six Boston Bruins.
Preems started (opening faceoff) last night in Ottawa, and looked good. Same with Sturm and Stuart. Sturm on his first shift got a nifty goal off a feed from Brad Boyes (remember him?) while Stuart faked a slapshot, passing instead to Patrice Bergeron who netted a goal.
I hope Joe does us proud in his debut. He had a day off, whereas the former trio told sportcasters that they had 2-3 hours sleep (the sportscasters told the bruins tv audience this in the pregame show).
- Victor Chi notes on the Bay Area sports blog
that the 1st round pick the Sharks received for Kozlov eventually turned into Brad Stuart, who was traded for 1997 1st round pick Joe Thornton, drafted just before Sharks overall 1997 1st round selection Patrick Marleau.
- Also Rans; Yesterday it was mentioned that exclusive negotiations between Boston and San Jose may have hurt the Bruins return for trading Joe Thornton. Today reports are coming out that there were a number of other trade discussions made prior to the trade.
The Toronto Sun's Bruce Garrioch reported that up to five teams
were involved in talks with Boston, and that the original deal was supposed to be Sergei Samsonov for Brad Stuart. The Chicago Tribune mentions that the Blackhawks
were interested but did not have a time to make an offer, and the Newsday reports NY Islanders GM Mike Milbury had discussions
with Bruins GM Mike O'Connell and the Sharks GM Doug Wilson. TSN's Bob McKenzie
notes that Thornton's no-trade clause does not travel with him to San Jose.
Lyle Richardson also speculates
"Regarding the Blackhawks, one wonders if O'Connell didn't use them as a bargaining ploy to put pressure on Sharks GM Doug Wilson to swing the deal".
- Taking song suggestions for tonights game: Staying Alive, Hold On [Thornton's] Coming, Gone Daddy Gone, Hit That [Sabre], Unforgiven, [San Jose is] A Million Miles Away, The Man who sold the World [Doug Wilson], Boom Biddy Bye Bye [Sturm, Stuart and Primeau], Wonder Whats Next [by Chevelle], Just Dropped In, 99 Problems [and a goalie ain't one], Loser, Hard to Explain, and You Can't Blame the Youth.
That is all I got. It was hard not to include [Hell looks a lot like L.A.], but what can you do.
- The liveblogging shall commence at 5PM Pacific, midnight Copenhagen time. The Sharks vs Canucks liveblog from a few weeks back is here
Interesting stat, after the first 13 games
the San Jose Sharks were 7-5-1. After 24 games, the Sharks are 8-12-4 for last place in the Pacific Division.