Friday, February 20, 2009

We're not dead. Yet.

So I disappeared for a longer amount of time than Joe Thornton does in the playoffs, likely losing the few sorry individuals who comprise my "reader base" (if you can call it that) in the process. But with a new layout and a grotesque banner hastily constructed in MS Paint, Bleed Teal is back! Of course, since our last post was in November regarding Claude Lemieux's stint in China and the post preceding that one recaps the season opener, we've got some catching up to do. So here's the SparkNotes version of the 2008-09 San Jose Sharks season thus far:

--Sharks post 9-2 October record playing a decidedly Todd McLellan-influenced brand of fast-skating, offensive hockey. Sharks fans breathe collective sigh of relief after a tumultuous offseason that involved the firing of Coach Ron Wilson and the turnover of half the blueline.

--Speaking of that blueline, Dan Boyle and Rob Blake enjoy phenomenal starts to their respective San Jose careers, with Boyle in particular proving to be the key component of McLellan's speed-based transition-reliant system.

--Patrick Marleau proves last season was an aberration with a terrific start to the campaign, and sustains his pace while serving as left wing on one of the hottest lines in the league with Joe Thornton and breakout sophomore Devin Setoguchi.

--Christmas comes early for Sharks naysayers (a.k.a. the Canadian media) as San Jose suffers a 6-0 drubbing in Detroit Dec. 18. A previous 4-2 win over the Wings provides little consolation and the Sharks gradually begin to (gasp) lose games.

--Sharks finally lose at home in regulation, ending a ridiculous streak spanning 11 months without a loss in 60 minutes at the Tank.

--Two days after said regulation loss, Sharks come out to play against the Wings, winning 6-5 in one of the most exciting games ever played on HP Pavilion ice. Hockey world collectively shits itself at prospect of Sharks-Wings Western Conference Finals series.

--Sharks endure first rough stretch of season, suffering 6 losses in 7 games, albeit 5 in overtime and the shootout. Despite struggles, secondary unit of Milan Michalek, Joe Pavelski and Ryane Clowe establishes itself as one of the best second lines in the league.

And that's about where we stand today. The Sharks are three points up on Detroit for first place in the West, and the long wait for the playoffs to begin continues, a wait made significantly more bearable now that Bleed Teal is back in action. Or something like that. Anyway, this certainly won't be another one-and-done copout as we've got (Note to self: stop using "we" -- you're the only one writing this) a decidedly premature projection of Team USA's 2010 Olympic team coming up tomorrow. (Gee, it's not like anyone's done that recently, right?)

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