Remember when I said work tickets “never suck”? Well, the tickets we got to that Sharks game on Wednesday were in the second row. And all I can say is, “wow.” While the game wasn’t close (a 5-2 Sharks win over the Blackhawks), considering the opponent and Antti Niemi’s performance in goal after looking like the one of the worst goalies in the NHL up to that point, it just seemed like a game that if the Sharks have a successful season will be remembered as a major turning point in their season.
But enough about that. Seeing at least a dozen checks into the glass directly in front of us was AWESOME. So was every time a puck collided with the wall just 6-10 feet away from us, making a noise so loud that it made my wife scream every time it happened (in the first period, anyway). Another revelation: Sharks hecklers are great. So much chanting of “TURCO”Â in the direction of Chicago’s overmatched net-minder. I almost tried to start a “what’s the matter with Turco, he’s a bum!” chant, but I felt like a guest in HP Pavilion. Nowhere near tenured enough to start acting like I own the place like when I sit in the left field bleachers at AT&T after an afternoon pregaming at 21st Amendment.
— Only disappointment on Friday night: that Ryan Clowe’s fight was on the other side of the ice from us, so we had to watch it on the big screen. You know, because I could have used some more violence within 20 feet of my seat.
— My wife’s new favorite Shark: Joe Pavelski. I would have to say that’s a pretty great choice, although I have a sweet spot for Patrick Marleau since he scored 2 goals on the third period, meaning he’s scored in both NHL games I’ve been to (the other in 2004, as I mentioned a couple days ago).
— Apparently David Lee’s got the IVs out of his arms after his elbow ran into Wilson Chandler’s teeth. Says something that this news doesn’t even seem surprising to me at all. It’s like hearing reports that the 49ers’ players are saying that the team’s offense “doesn’t make adjustments like other teams.”
— Here’s the way that you can see if the Warriors have any chance of finishing over .500 this season: if Lee’s injury is the strangest one anyone on the starting lineup suffers, they have a chance. Anything stranger (Curry coming down with malaria, Biedrins getting rickets, Monta breaking his ankle in another moped accident — only this time it gets captured on youtube, any injury taking place in the team’s showering area, etc.) and they’re screwed. And considering the Warriors’ recent run of injuries, would anybody have a recent to bet against an even stranger ailment occurring?
— The Warriors’ record (7-8) says they’ve been pretty decent this year, but their point differential (-5.0, 6th-worst in the NBA) would say otherwise. Their last three games (all without Lee) have been the culprit, as they lost to the Lakers, Nuggets and Rockets by a combined total of 56 points.
— After seeing how Baron Davis turned out (worse and fatter than any “we believer” thought he’d be), it’s clear that the franchise’s worst move in the last five years was trading Jason Richardson for the rights to Brandan Wright, all so Chris Cohan could save $10M on a trade exception he never had any intention of using.
— Now the Warriors want to trade Wright. I’m sure he has a ton of value after they didn’t offer him an extension off his rookie deal, he couldn’t stay on the court when the Warriors had no other power forwards, then he got hurt again.
— Maybe it’s time to realize — and I’m as guilty of this as anybody — that if a PF (like Anthony Randolph) can’t get minutes on a team like the Warriors, maybe they just aren’t that good.
— Unrelated to the Warriors, but something I should have already mentioned: I took part in the latest Niners Nation Tweetbag, where I answer a bunch of questions about the worst pro football team in the Bay Area along with Randy Cross, Matt Maiocco, Samuel Lam (the 49ers’ writer for the Examiner) and Tre9er (who writes for Niners Nation). Check it out, and ignore the fact that my answer to the question about whether the 49ers would ram Alex Smith down our throats on Monday, before Mike Singletary announced that Troy Smith would start on Monday.