Now I complain about seeing the same division rivals over and over all the time, but I can careless how many times we have to play the Ducks. These are always great games whether San Jose comes out on top or not. Now don't get me wrong the Sharks have been blown out by the Ducks many a times, but it has also gone the other way as well. What I love so much about these games is the passion both teams bring to the ice against each other. This season they have needed a shootout to decide each game so far. Both teams have played very spirited contests on these nights and win or lose each team has looked like they left it all out there. Tonight will be no different. Every game against Anaheim is crucial. The divisional points are so important and each team knows it.
Anaheim took the first two games as San Jose failed again in the shootout. The last game saw much of the same except the Sharks held off the Ducks in the shootout to spoil the return of Scott Neidermayer. The Sharks have been playing a much more gritty style of hockey lately and it has benefited them. San Jose is 7-2-1 in their last 10 and have thrived on the more consistent schedule in December. The crowd at the Tank will be loud tonight, the fans have already began to warm up their vocal chords for the BOO's that will be associated with Pronger touching the puck. I love to watch and listen to the fans reactions to plays made within the game. The Sharks fans are always very alert to missed chances and bad decisions made by the team, as well as great outlet passes and open players streaking down a wing. As I sit in the Tank tonight I am going to try to gather some quotes heard within the section I am sitting in. In tomorrows post I will throw some of them out there and what my reaction would be to them. Some of the things yelled during a game can be quite entertaining, so lets see what I can gather from the excellent Sharks fan base.
Anyways on to my "Keys to the Game"
*Continue the bruising play. San Jose is a big team and so is Anaheim. The Ducks will bring the physicality tonight and the Sharks will have to match it.
*Stay disciplined. The team has always been good in this part of their game. There was a little disregard for it though in the last couple of games, more on Saturday than Monday but none the less play hard and rough but play clean and disciplined as well.
*Take that extra look. It may mean taking a pretty good shot, but make sure to clear the puck. Pronger and Neidermayer are too good at the point to turn the puck over to them on failed clearing attempts.
Thanks for reading and enjoy tonights game! GO SHARKS!