The push for the Stanley Cup Playoffs has begun! Here is a closer look at how the Playoff Picture in the West is shaping up. Check sjsharks.com/theplayoffpicture every day over the next two weeks to see how the Sharks are positioning themselves for the Playoffs.
Sarah Peters | 11:30 AM Mountain Time
Hey Sharks fans! This is Sarah Peters and Patrick Hooper writing from the road for sjsharks.com. We just left Calgary and we are headed north to Edmonton. The weather in Canada is much different than the Bay Area as it’s about twenty degrees right now in Calgary and only five degrees in Edmonton. Edmonton is roughly 190 miles north of Calgary and a four hour bus ride. There is snow on the ground outside and blue skies ahead.
In Calgary, the restaurants that had televisions usually had hockey on every channel. Hockey is a major part of life in Canada and that was evident at last night’s game. Almost everyone in the crowd had a hockey jersey on and the Saddledome was loud. The press box was up in the rafters and we could feel our seats shake when the crowd cheered.
Patrick Hooper | 11:45 AM Mountain Time
As Sarah mentioned, it's rather chilly compared to what we're spoiled with in the Bay Area. I'll definietly have to check myself the next time I try to complain about 48 degree weather.
Early observations of life north of the border... it's cold, hockey is life, and at least for the western lifestyle of Alberta, everything has the word Canadian or Deer in it.
Patrick Marleau was named the "Fan Favorite" for the second year in a row. The Grand Prize winner received two (2) tickets to the Sharks “Fan Appreciation Night,” two Zamboni rides, the opportunity to meet their favorite Sharks player and receive that player’s jersey on the ice following the game. The winner also received a pre-game tour of HP Pavilion prior to the game. The grand prize winner, David Okimoto, gives us his account of this unforgettable night:
This past Saturday was one of the most memorable evenings of my life, as it's not every day that a professional athlete shakes your hand and hands you the jersey literally off his back. While it's not quite mega-millions lucky, I overcame some pretty daunting odds to be the grand prize winner of the Sharks Fan Favorite contest. I can best describe getting the phone call notifying me of my victory as stunning. I was at work, didn't recognize the number and almost didn't answer the call! Once I found out everything I had won, time moved at a crawl until Fan Appreciation Night finally arrived.
The tour of HP Pavilion far surpassed anything I anticipated. The building is truly huge, and most people don't get to see a fraction of how big it actually is. The offices, locker rooms, press areas, and storage areas create a maze of passages that I was fortunate enough to explore. Seeing all the framed photos of every Sharks team in history was a big thrill, as was watching Doug Wilson walk right past me in the lobby. After touring the rafters above the ice, I felt a bit bad for Randy, Drew, Dan, and Jaime as their recent move to the rafters is way, way up there...no where near as close as their previous perch from the front of the upper bowl. I guess my season tickets in the last row of the upper bowl are closer that I thought!
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