The first San Jose Sharks game of the shortened season played tonight. Our Sharks did us proud, beating Calgary 4-1. From the NHL's website, I posted the news on the game below.
Sharks douse Flames 3-1 in season opener
Sunday, 01.20.2013 / 8:58 PM
Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent
Three Stars Of The Game
- CALGARY, Alberta -- After a disappointing finish last season, the San Jose Sharks knocked the rust off and put the NHL on notice that they can still be dangerous.
Patrick Marleau took a bite out of the festivities of the sellout crowd of 19,289 at Scotiabank Saddledome by scoring twice as San Jose found the back of the net three times in a four-minute span in the second period to defeat the Calgary Flames 4-1 Sunday night.
Trailing 1-0 after a quiet opening 20 minutes, San Jose responded loudly in the middle period.
With Chris Butler in the box for roughing, Joe Thornton pickpocketed Calgary defenseman Mark Giordano behind the net and fed a backhanded pass into the slot to a waiting Marleau, who beat goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff at 13:52 to tie the game.
The quick assault continued. Kiprusoff thought he had squeezed Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s point shot, but he dropped the puck to his left and onto the waiting stick of Martin Havlat, who tucked the puck into the open net at 15:05 to put the Sharks ahead to stay.
Marleau added his second goal with 1:50 remaining in the period. Denied by the right pad of Kiprusoff, the six-time 30-goal scorer fired his own rebound into a wide-open net for a 3-1 lead.
Though they allowed 11 shots in the final period, Antti Niemi and the Sharks closed the door on any attempted comeback by Calgary. The Flames’ best opportunity to get within striking distance came with 6:54 remaining. After stopping Dennis Wideman’s blast from the point, Niemi kicked out a rebound -- but he denied Calgary captain Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay in the ensuing scramble before San Jose was able to smother the puck.
Dan Boyle iced the game during a 5-on-3 advantage for the Sharks, blasting a point shot under the pad of Kiprusoff with 60 seconds remaining in the game.
Calgary came out with much more enthusiasm than the Sharks in the first period.
With Havlat in the box for goaltender interference, Lee Stempniak took a pass on the half-wall from Jay Bouwmeester, skated to the top of the left faceoff circle and fired a wrist shot over Niemi's glove at 12:21 for Calgary’s first goal of the season and a 1-0 lead.
The Flames had plenty of opportunities to extend that lead but were thwarted by Niemi and his posts.Newcomer Steve begin came in on a partial breakaway a few minutes later while killing a penalty and fired a shot that caught Niemi’s stick before bouncing off the crossbar.
With 3:25 remaining, Mikael Backlund split Vlasic and Ryane Clowe to break in alone but was denied by the stick of Niemi. On the same shift, rookie Sven Baertschi struck iron, taking a feed in the slot and ringing it off the post
Photo 20 of 20 - San Jose Sharks vs. Calgary Flames
Withthe game information aside, let's talk about the San Jose Sharks live blog. Alex and the Sharks media staff have tweaked the blog and I, for one, love the site. While interacting with Alex and keeping up with the game-in-progress, one can read the Twitter comments in a separate column. That is nice.
The NHL has done some upgrades to their Game Center site. For those of us who haven't purchased the actual package, and just check watch the stats, look at photos, or watch game recap afterwards, I am pleased with the new site. The updates are instantaneous. Pictures on the icetracker, with corresponding numbers, let you know which players are on the ice. Click on a player, and their full data pops up. The player's game stats show while they are 'on the ice'. The score, shots on goal, and team roster (you can pick which of the two teams display) are on the screen. The roster shows the current game stats for the team.
I do have some beefs with the League and our cable company (you knew this was coming....)
Blackouts aside, our local cable only had two scheduled games for the entire weekend. That doesn't seem to be great increase to the NHL opening weekend. Both the NHL Owners and the NHLPA must demand more exposure of their games on a bigger variety of media. Sure, the NHL channel, NHL Gamecenter, Center Ice, and the Comcast contract are nice, but those channels are limited markets to dedicated fans. Come on guys, think about it for a moment. How many of the top three major league sports are broadcast every week on ESPN or the network channals (freebies)?
I've seen more horse-racing on NBC than hockey. That's nothing to brag about, and I love the Sport of Kings.
Will this change any time soon? I doubt it. I guess I'm regulated to watching stats scroll down a screen, chatting with Alex, and clicking on the 'goal' button to play the music. On occasion, I will listen to the Sharks radio if I'm home on a game day. Who knows, maybe the planets will line up and a Sharks game will be on NBC on my day off.
It could happen.
Sure, and I'm still holding on the that prime piece of beach front real estate in Elko, Nevada.
Go Sharks, and stay safe out there!