Sharks Eliminate the Predators in 5.

We got together tonight with a friend to watch the game.

In a move that will put a grin on the faces of members of our former San Jose Sharks mailing list, earlier in the week I was up in the city visiting a client I’ve been working with, and had the opportunity to pop by the Ferry Building. If you haven’t been there since the re-did it, you must: it is a wonderful place of small restaurants and high-end foodie shops now, as well as the ferries coming in from Alameda and the North Bay. One of those shops is Cowgirl Creamery. I came home with a nice selection of artisanal cheeses.

To the cheeses, we added a selection of crackers, and we opened up a bottle of 2000 Argyle Willamette Valley sparkling (A pinot an Chardonnay blend), which was perfect with the cheeses and quite tasty on its own. AFter, when the Sharks had won out, I pulled out of my special cache a 2005 Paradise Ranch (Okanagan Valley) Ice Wine made from Pinot Noir grapes, and there was much rejoicing. I’m starting to run a bit short of B.C. Ice Wine, so I’m going to have to finagle a trip north so I can sneak over the border… (fortunately, I now have a reliable supplier that has Oregon and Washington Ice Wines, and that’s not bad, either).

A good time was had by all. Among the cheeses sampled tonight — the Cowgirl triple creme and red hawk, an young italian Peccorino that had been washed in balsamic with infused juniper berries, a Point Reyes real blue cheese, a pug’s leap (Healdsburg) soft and rinded goat’s cheese and one other triple creme who’s attribution was unreadable, but was from the north bay somewhere.

Of them, my favorites by far were the Cowgirl triple creme, the Point Reyes Blue (very tangy, very sharp, truly awesome) and the Pugs Leap. The Cowgirl Red Hawk, which had an interesting red rind caused by bring washed in a brine that changed the bacteria on the surface, was very complex and nutty, but just didn’t hold up to the others. The Pecorino was also a lot of fun and interesting.

Damn, I wish Cow Girl had a closer outlet…. Although not inexpensive, it’s nice having access to what the local and regional cheese makers are doing now, and there’s some amazing stuff.

Oh, yeah. Hockey. This pretty much summed it up:

From Behind the Mask: Put a fork in the Preds – I heard Mark Smith and the Fat Lady singing Pura Vida:

Is Scott Nichol retarded? If you are the Preds, how can you bring this guy back next season? What a selfish bonehead move in an elimination game.

That, in a summary, was the series. The Predators were undisciplined and it cost them penalties, players and games. The Sharks avoided falling into the retribution trap, and while the power play wasn’t exceptional, the Preds kept digging holes and the Sharks kept saying thank you. The two teams otherwise were exceptionally close in talent and execution, although Kariya as a key guy simply didn’t get the job done well, and the Sharks key guys did. And Mike Grier to me is an early candidate for the Conn Smythe, if the Sharks make it that far and he keeps it up. Amazing play.

To me, the Predators started the game in “I don’t want to get hurt going into the summer mode” — the absolute sell-out intensity of play was missing. That turned after a really good scoring chance by Kariya that didn’t go in, and they started to play with more urgency — but then they started doing stupid things and taking stupid penalties. And that (again) included Peter Forsberg, who (again) took really obvious penalties, and complained to the refs about them being called all the way to the box. (“hey, do you know who I am? That rule doesn’t count for me!” Rob Shick: “tonight it does, dude!”)

I’m not sure who to blame for the lack of discipline. The coach? The players? everyone? What’s should be disconcerting to Predator brass is that after they got it under control after the first two games, it leaked out again tonight and pretty much sealed their fate, after they woke up and fought to a lead.

So, the Sharks get a few days off, and onward, to… well, someone. My guess: Detroit, while Anaheim gets Vancouver. Anything that helps beat the crap out fo Anaheim before the Sharks have to play them, I’m for. Detroit is very beatable. In fact, with back to back games saturday and sunday, it’s not a foregone conclusion it’ll BE detroit. Now, as long as they don’t start early enough for game 3 to happen next week, I’m good.

And now, back to Peterborough Pete, for your enjoyment…

I feel bad for Peter Forsberg, I hope that was not his last game in the NHL.

You know? I don’t. Talent or no, he was part of the problem, taking bad penalties, whining about them, and playing fairly dirty at times and at other times diving. Sorry, if nothign else, he set a bad example that this team followed into stupidity and suspensions and game misconducts…

Sean Hill was caught using a performance enhancing substance. Have any of you seen Sean Hill play? Somebody whisper to him, whatever he was taking wasn’t working. He and Bryan Berard are free agents…they would be perfect d partners for each other. I’m thinking Chicago or Columbus is dumb enough to take them as a package.

(line of the night. Wish I’d thought of it…)

Is the NHL retarded? Who the hell schedules back to back home and away playoff games between Calgary and Detroit? Obviously someone who has never flown before. What’s up with that?

Why? Because Detroit hosed the series with other committments in the building. Don’t blame the league here, blame the teams for stuffing things into the building knowing they might need them for hockey.

How about the NHL not committing to a game time for Tampa’s home game on Sunday due to TV schedules (wanting the Pens on in prime time if they had won) until after the Ottawa – Pens game last night? But Tampa was forced to sell tickets to the game earlier this week with a day set but no time slot? What kind of mickey mouse league does that and rude is that to the hockey fans in Tampa?

That’s normal. The Sharks game 7 this round was the same way.

There are two reasons to do this. One is because TV might want to change the teim. The other is that there’s another event going on that you might need to change the time of, and you don’t want to have to change that time until you have to. In San Jose, for instance, that’d be the Lacrosse team, the Stealth, that might have an evening slot, but if the Sharks need it, get moved to a day game at the last minute. But you don’t want to announce that kind of schedule change until you have to….

Again, not the league. It’s the team…