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POSTED ON Wednesday, 01.15.2014 / 12:48 PM
By Randy Hahn - Sharks Broadcaster / Great White Bites

It’s an off day on the road in Plantation, Florida for the San Jose Sharks and those of us who tag along for the ride. It’s a good day to catch up on rest (got here from Washington, DC at 3:30 a.m.), do some preparation for Thursday's tilt with the Panthers, go for a beach run in Fort Lauderdale and answer some leftover questions from Sharks fans on Twitter. Here we go.

What is your all-time favorite toppings combination for a pizza? ‏@Rcordero1241h

I’ve tried some pretty wild ones. In Maui, there’s a joint that sells pizza with chopped clams. Back in 1990, when I did play-by-play for the World Cup in Italy, we had a pizza that had prosciutto and cheese on it with a fried egg right in the middle of the pie. It was delicious actually. I’m not sure why it is this way in Canada, but when I was a kid growing up in the Yukon it seemed like everybody’s favorite was Canadian bacon and pineapple. To this day it’s my favorite too. It must be the salty and sweet thing.

Hi. Is there an address I could send a pic I would love autographed? Marleau took a shot at my head 1 pre-skate :) ‏@sfmariae8h

Any and all mail to players should be sent c/o: San Jose Sharks 525 West Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA 95113. Please be patient. As you can imagine it’s quite a chore for players to keep up with fan mail and autograph requests during the NHL season.

Who would win in a fight, you or Drew Remenda? ‏@DirtyManimal17h

There is a very simple answer to this somewhat disturbing question. Remenda. Drew is a training machine. The man works out 2 or 3 times a day. He does chin-ups on the doorframes of the broadcast booth when we’re off camera during the intermissions. There are Prada models with more body fat than my partner has. He would crush me in a few seconds. He would go all Mike Brown on me. When the dust settled I wouldn’t be day to day, I’d be season to season.

Is there a reason why you and Drew went behind Dan Boyle during his pre-game interview in Washington? #TryingToStealSpotLight ? ‏@SharksRadar19h

This was definitely a mistake on our part. In attempting to listen in on the interview we inadvertently put ourselves in the same camera shot as one of the all time “hunkiest” Sharks players. It is truly humbling to look back at the footage. Is it wrong for me to say hunkiest? Is that a word?

Was the Dallas game when you had Laryngitis the hardest game you ever had to call? ‏@Bay_Area_Sports12 Jan

It was definitely right up there. I woke up that morning with little to no voice. The doctor gave me a steroid shot and antibiotics and told me not to speak until game-time when I absolutely had to. It was a struggle to get the words out and probably more painful to listen to. The hardest game I ever had to call was May 17, 2006. It was game 6 of the playoff series between the Sharks and the Edmonton Oilers. I was sick that night too and losing my voice. But what made it especially tough is that when the Sharks lost the game 2-0 and lost the series 4-2, I knew that Drew would be revealing on our post game segment that he was leaving the Sharks broadcast crew for Hockey Night in Canada the next season. It was an emotional night and there were tears at the end of it. But in the end Drew realized the terrible mistake he had made and he came back!

Would you rather trade "hair" with Drew or "teeth" with @Burnzie88 ? :) ‏@MissStephF12 Jan

Neither. I would rather trade the ability to grow facial hair with Joe Thornton. I think it would be a ground breaking Shark Byte segment to do a time lapsed photography feature of Thornton’s face. The man can grow a beard in between periods.

Keep those Tweets coming @sharkvoice.

I’m Randy Hahn

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POSTED ON Monday, 01.13.2014 / 9:00 AM
By Dan Rusanowsky - Sharks Broadcaster / Great White Bites

With the San Jose Sharks in our nation’s capital, it’s always interesting to hear the perspectives of the American citizens on the team’s roster, especially as they consider some free time after practice at the Verizon Center today.

Whether it’s Joe Pavelski’s special memories of visiting the Library of Congress and national archives, where he saw some historically significant items, or whether it’s Justin Braun’s anticipation of strolling to the Lincoln Memorial, it’s impossible not to feel a sense of patriotism and good fortune that we are either Americans or simply living and working in the United States. It is, indeed, our good fortune to be doing so.

But as we reflect by the Reflecting Pool, it’s also important to note that the Verizon Center is a memorable place for a couple of Sharks who played the biggest game of their lives there before they ever thought seriously about donning an NHL uniform.

It was April 11, 2009, and the NCAA Frozen Four hockey tournament was being played at the Verizon Center. In the national semi-finals two nights earlier, Boston University defeated Vermont, 5-4, and Miami University defeated Bemidji State, 4-1, to earn the way to the championship game. B.U. trailed, 4-3, in its game, before scoring two goals in 1:13 midway through the third period to advance, with the winning goal scored by future Nashville Predator Colin Wilson. Miami had rolled through Bemidji on the strength of a two-goal, one-assist performance by future San Jose Shark Tommy Wingels.

But now, it was for all the marbles. 18,512 college hockey fans jammed into the Verizon Center, hoping for a night to really remember, and what they got was an incredible game with a crazy ending that provided some evidence why holding a two-goal lead is “the worst lead in hockey.”

After the teams exchanged goals in the first two periods, Wingels put Miami in front, 2-1, with 7:29 to play. Trent Vogelhuber made it a 3-1 Miami lead with 4:08 to play, and with one minute to play, it appeared as if Miami’s longstanding quest to win the national championship was about to happen.

But on the other side of the ice, Boston University was refusing to fold its hand, and with one minute to play, they had goaltender Kieran Millan on the bench for an extra attacker. It was time for the crazy ending.

Current Anaheim Ducks center Nick Bonino, who had been drafted 173rd overall by the Sharks in 2007, was on the ice, and along with Brandon Yip, now playing in the Phoenix organization, got the puck to Zach Cohen for an extra-attacker goal with 59 seconds to play. Miami still led, 3-2.

Forty-three seconds later, with the extra attacker on the ice, Bonino tied the game, 3-3, on passes from Matt Gilroy, currently playing in Florida, and Chris Higgins, who is currently playing in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Instead of a handshake at the end of regulation, the national championship game was headed to overtime.

In overtime, Boston University would complete its incredible comeback, with Colby Cohen notching the winning goal at the 11:47 mark. The assists went to Kevin Shattenkirk, now playing for the St. Louis Blues, and Chris Connolly, currently splitting time between Tampere, Finland and Iserlohn, Germany. Boston University had won its fifth national championship, and the NCAA championship game had gone into overtime for the 13th time in history.

Fast-forward a couple of years later to February 13, 2012, back at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. The Sharks were playing the Capitals in NHL action on this occasion, and Wingels was back in the building for the first time.

As it turned out, the hotel rooming list had Wingels coincidentally put together with John McCarthy. As many know, McCarthy was a co-captain of the winning team from Commonwealth Avenue, and was named “Unsung Hero” of that particular Boston University team by his school.

Well, in the game played on that night, the roommates and teammates were on the winning side. On the strength of a two-goal, two-assist performance by U.S. Olympian Joe Pavelski, and two more goals from Canadian Olympian Patrick Marleau, not to mention three assists from Joe Thornton, and 39 saves from Thomas Greiss, the Sharks took a 5-1 lead with 12:57 to play, and held on to win, 5-3. Alex Ovechkin played 26:45 that game, and was held off the scoresheet by the Sharks netminder, despite putting 6 shots on goal.

Fast-forward to the present. The Sharks are back at Verizon Center for practice, and I’m reading an account of an exciting college game played at Madison Square Garden this past weekend between Yale and Harvard in front of 15,524 spectators and won by Yale, 5-1. It reminded me of the old ECAC Holiday Hockey Festival, also played at Madison Square Garden and featuring my alma mater, St. Lawrence University, in many of the games played between 1962 and 1977.

I have three unrelated thoughts:

  1. The Sharks are looking for inspiring performances on this road trip, and here, at the site of one of their most memorable moments, it would be really great to see Wingels and McCarthy pick up some points in a Sharks victory against the Capitals on Tuesday.
  2. Given that Hockey East plays its championship tournament at TD Garden, I’d like to see if the rival ECAC could somehow schedule its championship tournament at Madison Square Garden. Now, there’s nothing wrong with Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, where the tournament is currently held and where my alma mater played in another NCAA championship game that went to overtime. But to have TD Garden host one Eastern college championship and Madison Square Garden the other would be great for the sport, excellent cooperation with the NHL arenas, and an enhancement of the Eastern league rivalries.
  3. Given the appearance of the NCAA Frozen Four in NHL buildings, including Washington, wouldn’t it be fantastic to see it come to SAP Center at San Jose? Over the years, there has been definite interest, but so far, it hasn’t happened. Attention, NCAA: it would be a great success in Silicon Valley if it came to pass.

Now, it’s back to the Reflecting Pool to reflect some more, as Tuesday’s game awaits. I’m Dan Rusanowsky, for sjsharks.com.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 01.12.2014 / 8:04 PM
By Jamie Baker - Sharks Broadcaster / Great White Bites

Twenty years ago was the day that started the biggest single season turnaround in NHL History. Here's a quick overview of what and how it happened!

January 12, 1994

If anyone had asked a Sharks fan on that day if the Sharks were going to make the playoffs, let alone beat Detroit in a seven game series and take Toronto to a seven game series they would have:

  1. Literally spilt their stomach from laughing so hard
  2. Fallen off the rocking horse multiple times
  3. Bet the farm, and the neighbors farm, that it wouldn't happen
  4. Said if that happens there should be a parade in downtown San Jose

Correct answer is D.

Here is why anyone and everyone outside of the players and coaching staff thought D would never have been the answer.

  • Sharks record on October 25, 1993, nine games into the 84 game regular season was 0-8-1.
  • Sharks record on January 12, 1994, 43 games into the season was 12-21-10.
  • In the previous 14 games prior to January 12, the Sharks went 1-8-5
    • Including a 10-3 loss to Detroit at home on January 6
    • And In the next game, on January 11, it was a 2-2 tie at home to Los Angeles in a game where the Kings outshot the Sharks 39 to 10. After the game, Head Coach Kevin Constantine, who seldom lit into the team after a game, went absolutely crazy, yelled and screamed and basically called the way we played an embarrassment.

So it's game day on January 12, 1994 as the Sharks play the Mighty Ducks in Anaheim. It’s year three of the San Jose Sharks and year one in downtown San Jose where the team played in an arena known as The Shark Tank.

Despite the odds against them, on the evening of January 12, 1994, the San Jose Sharks beat the Mighty Ducks at the “The Pond” by a score of 5-2.

This was the first win in a 9-3-1 run over the next 13 games as the teething Sharks started to get some bite to their game.

The last three games of the 13 were, in a scheduling quirk, all against the very good Chicago Blackhawks. Back then the NHL played 84 regular season games with every team playing 2 neutral site games. One of the neutral site games was in Sacramento against Chicago.

February 8, 1994 - @ Sacramento, Sharks W 4-3

February 11, 1994 – @ San Jose, Sharks W 4-3

February 13, 1994 - @ San Jose, Sharks W 1-0

The 1-0 win was a classic in many ways but especially because of how it ended. With less two minutes left in a scoreless game, Sharks defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh was doing his typical roaming in the offensive zone which drove the coaches crazy when Kevin Constantine yelled from the bench; “No Sandis, No Sandis, Great play Sandis” as he found a loose puck in the mid-slot and fired it past a sliding Ed Belfour to secure the Sharks 3rd consecutive win against a very good Blackhawks team.

Drew Remenda can tell the story better than anyone because he was an assistant coach and watched the video over and over again with the coaches … in disbelief!

Randy Hahn and Dan Rusanowsky have their versions and memories of that three game set against Chicago and the entire season as a whole, as does Wayne Thomas who was also an assistant at the time.

So on January 12, 1994 the Sharks were 12-21-10 after 43 games. The team would finish the final 41 games going 21-14-6 to finish in 8th place in the Western Conference with a record of 33-35-16.

So the Sharks went from:

0-8-1 on Oct 25, 2013, to

12-21-10 on Jan 12, 2014, to

33-35-16 on Apr 14, 1994

It was a unique experience, a unique team where there were no ego’s, everyone played for each other, respected each other and did what it took to win. The coaching staff was as prepared as any staff in the league as they put in more hours than anyone could imagine. It was, ‘a magical season’.

From 0-8-1 to making the playoffs, no way we could be Detroit, right?

So January 12, 1994 stands as the day that really started the biggest single season turnaround in NHL history. No one knew it was possible, well, except the players and coaches because you can’t accomplish that type of turnaround if you don’t believe! It takes “character and chemistry”, two characteristics that ’94 had an abundance of.

From there …

History Never Says Never!

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POSTED ON Friday, 01.10.2014 / 1:17 PM
By Frank Albin - Director of Broadcasting / Great White Bites

A Change of Heart

In 1998, the Olympics welcomed NHL players with open arms. Prior to ’98 Olympic, hockey was considered an ‘amateur’ game composed of college, senior and communist (supposed non-pro) players. The prospect of exposing the sporting world to the very best hockey players appeared to be a logical way to ‘grow the game’ in general and improve the standing of the NHL in particular.

What was the price? The NHL agreed to shut down the league for almost three weeks and ‘lend’ their players to the various national teams. The Olympics would get the benefit of a major, team sport involving the best in the business. In ’98 it seemed to be a fair cost for all involved.

Nagano, Japan presented the games flawlessly.

The US and Canadian teams failed to win a medal which defeated one of the major goals of the NHL. The Czechs won Gold, Russia took the Silver and Finland won Bronze. The greatest players of the era gave the games everything they had. Ratings were not what the NHL had hoped for. The dramatic difference in times zones was thought to be the reason.

In 2002, Salt Lake City hosted the Winter Games. A North American venue in the Mountain time zone gave the NHL high hopes. The Canadian team played an inspired hockey on their way to the Gold Medal. Team USA captured the Silver and Bronze went to the Russians.

2006 saw the Winter Games staged in Turin, Italy. Sweden, Finland and the Czechs won Gold, Silver and Bronze. Canada and the US failed to medal and many saw it as another missed opportunity.

Vancouver hosted in 2010 and Canada showed the world they know how to throw a party. But at the end of the day the NHL still failed to get the result they were hoping for. The games did not draw massive viewership. The games failed to drive interest in non-traditional US markets. The buzz the games brought was enjoyed mostly by long-time hockey fans; the same folks who watch attend and buy merchandise during the NHL season.

But after 16 years and 5 Olympic games (including Sochi, Russia next month), I feel it’s time to move on. It’s not a win-win for the NHL. What other industry would shut down their business and ‘give’ away their product without any guarantees? Not only that, there is a very real concern to club management that their high-priced assets (players) could be hurt which would damage their business significantly.

Recently more and more voices are questioning the NHL’s future participation. Another point that can be made is that the NHL’s condensed schedule to accommodate three weeks off in February hurts players, the competition and the quality of the games played.

For me there are two solutions to the problems of shutting down the NHL.

1. Move Ice Hockey to the summer games. It may be counter intuitive but basketball is featured in the summer games.

2. Resurrect the World Cup of Hockey which has been shelved since the league began playing in the Olympics. In the past the World Cup was staged in September to coincide in part with training camp. Games were played entirely in North America…in Canada and the US. In fact San Jose hosted a World Cup game back in 1996.

Rather than trying to get the world to ‘discover hockey’, let’s use the league, its venues and its players to offer the best hockey possible without shutting down the NHL during a key part of the season.

It’s time to just walk away from the Olympics. Give Olympic hockey to the college and amateurs players. Let the NHLers earn their money battling for the Stanley Cup and a revived World Cup.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 01.09.2014 / 2:56 PM
By Drew Remenda - Sharks TV, Color Commentator / Great White Bites

When The Best of The Best team is named there is always controversy that follows.

But When the US named their Men's Olympic Hockey Team, they really stepped in it.

First off as a Canadian, I'm very happy Team USA didn't pick Ottawa's Bobby Ryan. He is a tremendously dynamic goal scorer, a game breaker and I'm glad he won't be able to torch my country's team.

But where Team USA management made the mistake was allowing embedded reporters in on all the selection process.

Noted sports journalists were able to listen to, record and eventually report all the discussions and debates.

Unfortunately the wonderfully opinionated and unfiltered Brian Burke was quoted post selection on his views of Bobby Ryan's intensity.

It wasn't complimentary and it was disrespectful and it was put in print for everyone to read. Including Bobby Ryan.

Brian Burke wasn't trying to be a jerk. He was doing what he was supposed to do. Passionately defending and critiquing all the players considered for Team USA.

In this instance he used rather blunt language.

But that is what happens in those types of meetings. I've been in those scouting and coaches meetings. I've been in those debates. A lot of stuff gets said that is between those in the room and nobody else because sometimes unflattering descriptions of players abilities and personalities are debated.

Nobody is trying to be mean or nasty but discussions get intense.

Sharks GM Doug Wilson and I disagree on many issues. However one issue DW has a solid standing with me is on how he does not make public any player discussions, negotiations or analysis from the team. There is nary a peep from the Sharks GM that could be construed as disrespectful. He protects his players.

That's where Team USA failed. They failed to protect an American player.

I applaud the idea of transparency and a unique Insider approach to the selection process. But the smart veteran hockey minds of Team USA should have known that No Good Deed Goes Unpunished, (my life motto by the way).

As unintentional as it was, the Management Team has to accept they screwed up and disrespected a great player and from all reports a wonderful young man.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 01.08.2014 / 5:26 PM
By Randy Hahn - Sharks Broadcaster / Great White Bites

Every team in the NHL has to deal with injuries throughout the long season. The San Jose Sharks are getting their share injuries of and then some right now.

Logan Couture will undergo surgery on an upper body injury on Wednesday. He’ll join a list that already includes Tommy Wingels, Martin Havlat, Tomas Hertl, Raffi Torres and Adam Burish. If you include Tyler Kennedy who missed the three-game road trip with a nasty bout of the flu, the Sharks are playing without seven of their regular forwards.

There aren’t many teams, if any, in the NHL that can consistently score when more than half of their forwards are on the shelf. Head Coach Todd McLellan needs his core veterans like Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Dan Boyle, Marc Eduard Vlasic and others to help carry the team through a difficult stretch. It’s also necessary for the depth players up from Worcester to make a difference. McLellan needs an extra block here or there, an extra hit, an extra faceoff win. He also needs his goaltending to be a little better. It’s all hands on deck until the Olympic break starting February 7 and then the Sharks ought to begin to get healthier and get players back.

There are going to be a few rocky nights over the next three weeks but the Sharks have to find a way to battle through. They have no choice. They can’t hang their heads and allow injuries to be an excuse for team performance. If they survive the next 15 games before the break and stay in the hunt for the division title, they’ll be in much better shape down the stretch heading towards the playoffs and they’ll be a better team for having battled through the adversity together.

I’m Randy Hahn

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 01.07.2014 / 9:00 PM
By Jamie Baker - Sharks Broadcaster / Great White Bites
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POSTED ON Monday, 01.06.2014 / 8:03 PM
By Dan Rusanowsky - Sharks Broadcaster / Great White Bites

PROVINCIAL OLYMPIC TEAMS: A NEW PARLOR (PARLOUR) GAME

Following a spectacular 3-2 victory in Chicago, a great goaltending performance by Alex Stalock, some pressure goals by Jason Demers and Brent Burns, a shootout performance worthy of note from Stalock, Logan Couture, and Joe Pavelski, the San Jose Sharks headed to the airport to brave what they’re calling a “polar vortex” that has enveloped much of the nation’s midsection.

In the midst of the travel to Nashville, and the warm confines of the hotel, the news of Olympic team announcements has started to trickle out, with the big news coming tomorrow with Team Canada. Of course, I have been hoping that all of the Sharks who are still candidates for Olympic play will be selected by their respective nations. The parlor game (or, “parlour game,” as it may be spelled) of picking your version of each country’s team has become a fierce sport in many homes.

But for some reason, while pondering the entire topic, I suddenly started thinking about one of the greatest soccer stars in history, George Best, and wondered how his situation would apply to hockey.

Best was one of the most dynamic soccer players ever to lace on boots. He dazzled fans the world over, first with Manchester United, then with a variety of other teams, including the original version of the San Jose Earthquakes. For his highlight goal in a Quakes uniform, go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8wGN5uDaVg

But Best never was able to play on world soccer’s greatest stage, the FIFA World Cup. The reason is due to the way that the teams were assembled, by country. While Great Britain and its larger umbrella, the United Kingdom, produces many of the most successful soccer programs anywhere, FIFA splits teams up into sides from England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Since Best was from Northern Ireland, he played for that side a number of times in attempts to qualify for the World Cup, but given the depth of overall players there, his teams never made it to the tournament.

With the Olympics coming up, and more specifically, with Team Canada about to be named, I wondered just how competitive things would be if Canada were split up into smaller groups, similar to that of Great Britain (ok, the UK). What would it be like if teams from Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, etc. were fielded for the Olympics?

Canada is deep enough to consider such a scenario. In the United States, we have growing pockets of state representation, but not nearly enough to field 50 separate teams. But an attempt to do so for Canada is pretty interesting.

Ontario and Quebec, of course, would have many of the same selection difficulties as Canada itself, but consider how a team from Manitoba might be from the goal out, with NHL and AHL players available for selection:

James Reimer

Chet Pickard (Ok City)

Calvin Pickard (Lake Erie)

Duncan Keith - Michael Stone

Travis Hamonic – Justin Falk

Aaron Rome – Dylan McIlrath (Hartford)

Joel Edmundson (Chicago) –Colby Robak (San Ant.)

Dustin Penner – Jonathan Toews – Patrick Sharp

Ryan Garbutt – Cody Eakin – Eric Fehr

Cody McLeod – Travis Zajac – Colton Orr

Frazer McLaren – Dale Weise – Ryan Reaves

IR

LW Alexander Steen

C Ryan White

LW Matt Calvert

Also Under Consideration

D Drew Bagnall (Roch.)

D Corbin Baldwin (Iowa)

D Brett Skinner (Rockford)

D Chay Genoway (Hershey)

Yes, they’d be better if the injured guys were healthy, and they’d rely heavily on Duncan Keith and Michael Stone to log lots of minutes on defense. But it would be interesting to see how these guys would represent their province, wouldn’t it?

Then, consider Team Nova Scotia. It would likely have Joey MacDonald in goal, and although he’s no Roberto Luongo, he has NHL experience, including this year. They’d have some pretty top quality guys up front in Sidney Crosby, Nathan MacKinnon, James Sheppard, Brad Marchand, and Alex Killorn, and they’d have some grinding toughness in Eric Boulton and Zach Sill. But the number of NHL level players from Nova Scotia is lower than that of the larger provinces, so would their fate go the way of George Best if they had to qualify for the Olympics?

I think I’ve come across another parlor (or, perhaps I should spell it “parlour”) game. Have at it, folks!

UNRELATED NOTE: Tuesday not only places the Sharks in Nashville for an important road game against the Predators. It also marks the anniversary of the loss of Katie Moore, wife of former Sharks center Dominic Moore. Take a moment to remember those who have left us, and see what Dominic is doing to remember his wife by going to www.katiemoore.org.

See you on the radio! I’m Dan Rusanowsky, for sjsharks.com.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 01.04.2014 / 9:00 AM
By Frank Albin - Director of Broadcasting / Great White Bites

Why do kids around the world bundle up and head out to the frozen pond to play with their friends?

Love of the game.

Why do NHL players work so hard on and off the ice?

Love of the game.

Why do ex-NHL players show up for fantasy camps and alumni games?

Love of the game

Why do team equipment men work late hours and early mornings getting hockey gear from city to city?

Love of the game.

Why do kids prepare special signs and arrive at SAP Center an hour before the game to press their nose to the glass during warm-ups?

Love of the game.

Why do over 105,000 people brave the cold and wind to see a game played in a snow shower?

Love of the game.

Why do broadcasters study the media guides and spend hours and hours at the rink on off-days?

Love of the game.

Why do fans wait outside after the game for an autograph?

Love of the game.

Why do players spend most of their summer working out and preparing for an upcoming season?

Love of the game.

Why do kids beg their parents for an official NHL jersey or sweat shirt?

Love of the game.

Why do journalists spend countless hours in airports and hotels?

Love of the game.

Why are DVRs set to record the TV telecasts?

Love of the game.

Why ushers and game day staffs give up their evenings?

Love of the game.

Why do parents spend considerable amounts of money, and wake up before the dawn to take their sons and daughters to practice?

Love of the game?

Why do fans wear their lucky jerseys on game day?

Love of the game.

Why will the Sharks spend over 150 hours in airplanes this season?

Love of the game.

Why do coaches spend so much time reviewing game tapes and coming up with new and better schemes in an effort to win?

Love of the game.

Why do players hug each other after a goal?

Love of the game.

Why do TV crews arrive at the arena 6 hours before the opening faceoff?

Love of the game.

Why fans around the world visit NHL.com and SJSharks.com?

Love of the game.

Why do Randy and Drew spend so much time to look good on the TV broadcasts?

Love of the game.

Why did Dan Rusanowsky get elected into the Bay Area Radio Hall-of-fame?

Love of the game.

Why do mothers and fathers buy new equipment for their kids each year as they grow?

Love of the game.

Why do players play through pain?

Love of the game.

Why do the players fist bump or high five fans as they enter and exit the ice?

Love of the game.

Why do scouts spend so much time on the road looking for the next generation of Sharks players?

Love of the game.

Why do the trainers attend to the ice bags and take such good care of the players?

Love of the game.

Why does Logan Couture risk some pain to block a shot?

Love of the game.

Why am I writing this article?

Love of the game.

Why do fans buy a new big-screen TV?

Love of the game.

Why do parents let their children stay up just 10 more minutes?

Love of the game.

Why are game days circled on the calendar?

Love of the game.

Why do players give back to the community, by visiting a hospital or spending time at an on-ice clinic?

Love of the game.

Why do players stay late to answer just one more question after a hard-fought game?

Love of the game.

Why do the victorious Sharks skate to the center face-off circle and raise their sticks to salute the fans?

Love of the game.

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POSTED ON Friday, 01.03.2014 / 1:34 PM
By Drew Remenda - Sharks TV, Color Commentator / Great White Bites

Over the last few years there has been a growing murmur regarding the novelty of the NHL's Winter Classic. The "Oh it's been done" crowd has had its share of the New Years Event.

Many times they argue that the game doesn't Live up to the hype.

I ask you, what does live up to any hype nowadays?

The Super Bowl? Nope

Big UFC fights, rarely

Stanley Cup Finals, sometimes.

The Winter Classic is less about the hype and the spectacle and more about the one glowingly wonderful aspect of the game.

It's played outside in the cold.

That's where we all grew up. Well most of who lived in the colder climates.

As you all know I grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Cold, Flat, wonderful and oh yeah did I mention COLD?

But that cold had its advantages mainly outdoor rinks. We had a small rink in our backyard and four outdoor school rinks within walking distance.

I would get to the rink, sit on the snowbank and strap on the blades.

Sometimes other kids would be there, sometimes I was by myself.

On nights my team wasn't playing I was at any one of those rinks, in the cold, in the dark playing out my hockey fantasy. I was always Bobby Orr scoring the winning goal to win the Cup.

I would play until I shot the puck over the boards and couldn't find it in the snowbank or until "the streetlights came on" as my Grandmother would say or until my Mom or Dad would drive over to the school and tell me to "Get Home!"

They wouldn't wait for me either. So back on the snowbank, out of the skates, slide my freezing feet into a frozen solid pair of boots, sling the skates over my stick, stick over my shoulder and head home, smiling all the way.

The "ODR" (as my boys call it) is where I fell in love. . It's where you just PLAYED hockey. No structure, no coaches, no drills, just a raw naive innocent unabashed love for the game.

So when I ignore or strip away all the hype, the spectacle, the fans, the TV, the names, the everything of the Winter Classic, I am left with the game I love played in its simplest and most wonderful form.

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PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 8 7 1 0 29 15 14
2 NSH 7 5 0 2 19 13 12
3 LAK 7 5 1 1 17 10 11
4 CGY 9 5 3 1 25 19 11
5 DAL 7 4 1 2 24 22 10
6 CHI 6 4 1 1 18 10 9
7 SJS 8 4 3 1 27 25 9
8 VAN 7 4 3 0 23 24 8
9 EDM 8 3 4 1 23 32 7
10 MIN 5 3 2 0 12 4 6
11 COL 8 2 4 2 19 27 6
12 STL 6 2 3 1 13 13 5
13 ARI 6 2 3 1 16 24 5
14 WPG 7 2 5 0 13 20 4

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Marleau 8 4 6 -1 10
J. Pavelski 8 4 4 6 8
L. Couture 8 4 4 -2 8
J. Thornton 8 2 6 5 8
B. Burns 8 1 7 0 8
T. Wingels 8 3 2 -2 5
M. Irwin 6 2 1 -4 3
M. Nieto 8 1 2 3 3
J. Demers 7 0 3 -1 3
J. Braun 8 0 3 2 3
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Stalock 1 1 1 .933 2.27
A. Niemi 3 2 0 .903 3.16
Image Map