Wednesday, April 20, 2011

San Jose Sharks: Antero Niittymaki or Antti Niemi To Start Game 4?

How would you like to be San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan right now?

Okay, he's probably not the worst person to be right now, I mean, he is head coach of a team that came back from a 4-0 deficit to win 6-5 in overtime in the playoffs and take control of the series.

But how about the decision he has to make for Game 4 in Los Angeles on Thursday night?

Go with the goalie who has brought your team to the playoffs by playing practically the entire second half of the season, or the goalie who silenced the Kings on the Sharks' way to one of the greatest comebacks in NHL playoff history?

Antti Niemi or Antero Niittymaki?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

San Francisco Giants: Brandon Belt Seems Bound For AAA-Fresno

So the San Francisco Giants made a mistake. The hype was so huge coming out of Spring Training that the Giants ultimately had no choice but to start Brandon Belt on Opening Day at first base.

The Giants went against everything they have ever preached about their prospects by bringing up Belt to the majors to start the season.

Buster Posey waited until mid-season. Now look at him. So did Madison Bumgarner and a host of other players who now make up the young core of the Giants' competitive ball club.

Which is why murmurs of Belt's imminent departure for Fresno seems just about right for this situation.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Where the Golden State Warriors Go From Here

The overall expectations for these 20010-11 Golden State Warriors was up in the air at the start of this past season.

Who will be the majority scorer, Monta Ellis or Stephen Curry? Will David Lee be all they payed him to be? What role will Dorell Wright play? Is coach Keith Smart in the future plans for this team?

Turns out, all of these questions were answered, and rather quickly.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

San Jose Sharks Get By L.A. Kings In Game 1 Slugfest

Joe Pavelski's game-winning goal at the 14:44 mark of OT snuck the San Jose Sharks past the Los Angeles Kings last night in front of a rowdy crowd at HP Pavilion.

Sharks coach Todd McLellan had said it all week. The playoffs were going to be a matter of getting to three goals first for the Sharks. And at the end of two periods, McLellan's ideology proved correct, as the game was tied 2-2 heading into the third period and then into overtime, as well.

It was about momentum in Game 1.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

2011 NHL Playoffs: San Jose Sharks vs. L.A. Kings Series Preview & Predictions

Imagine you walk into the HP Pavilion on Thursday night. A sea of teal and black cover the arena except for the rectangle of freshly zambonied ice that is the center of attention for the next three hours.

The lights go black and Metallica's Seek and Destroy fills the stadium as Antti Niemi leads the team from out of the shark's mouth just as he has done numerous times this season.

The lights return and the National Anthem begins.

"Oh, say can you see..."

Chants of "Beat LA!" suddenly ring from the upper level of the right side of the arena.

It is playoff time in San Jose.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

NHL Playoffs: No One Tell Joe Thornton It Is Playoff Time

We've seen it before. The San Jose Sharks have an amazing regular season and hopes are high heading into the NHL playoffs.

There's too many weapons on this team to fail, right?


The NHL playoffs are a bigger beast and big names tend to crumble during this time, especially if they're wearing a Sharks jersey, or so history claims.

The perfect example of a big name becoming miniscule when the lights are on them is Joe Thornton.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Beat LA: 4 Reasons the Los Angeles Kings Are the Most Favorable Match-Up For the San Jose Sharks

In a final weekend of the NHL season that can only be described as "nutty," some teams got the match-up they wanted in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and others did not. I will gladly insert the San Jose Sharks into the "match-up they wanted" category for several reasons.

The Sharks will play the Los Angeles Kings in the 1st round of the NHL Playoffs that will start in San Jose at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

From a distance, the Kings may be the most favorable match-up in the entire Western Conference playoff picture for the Sharks.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the San Francisco Giants' First Week of the Season

It has not been the most ideal start to the 2011 baseball season for the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants, but it could be worse.

A 2-4 start has some freaking out and others, like sane people, just calling it a bit of a World Series hangover, which it is.

The Giants have targets on their backs now that they have rings on their fingers (or will have rings on their fingers on Saturday). They will be taking everyone's best shot from here forward.

Call it a slump, a World Series hangover or whatever, but I'm going to call it like it should be called: a roadtrip.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Top 10 Greatest Fighters In San Jose Sharks History

The history of San Jose Sharks' fighters and enforcers is full of some pretty gritty players who share a special place in the minds of franchise-long Shark fans.

They can think back to Owen Nolan or Scott Parker, or even today's fighters like Ryane Clowe, Jamal Mayers and Douglas Murray.

But the majority of today's Sharks teamcan be considered anything but fighters. In fact, the team as a whole can be referred to as a bunch of pretty boys with Thornton, Marleau and Heatley rarely throwing a punch.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

5 Reasons the San Jose Sharks Can Break the Curse and Reach the Stanley Cup Finals

When you think about curses in sports, what teams do you think about?

The Chicago Cubs? Cleveland sports? The late Red Sox before they won it all? Maybe the Detroit Lions or Toronto Maple Leafs?

How about the San Jose Sharks?

You wouldn't think it because of all the NHL playoff appearances and being legitimate Stanley Cup favorites year in and year out, but the Sharks are cursed.

Cursed by what?

There's a new one every year.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Brandon Belt Makes San Francisco Giants Opening Day Roster

According to Andrew Baggarly of the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Giants have decided to add Brandon Belt onto the 2011 Opening Day roster and start him at first base against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night.

To be honest, this is a shock to everyone and anyone who has been involved in Giants baseball through the last several years.

All signs were pointing to Belt being called up by the earliest May and most definitely by June or July, but obviously the Giants see that this young prospect can make this team that much better.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

San Francisco Giants: Starting Brandon Belt Is An Issue of Money, Not Talent

I don't care if he hits five home runs tomorrow, Brandon Belt is not starting on Opening Day for the San Francisco Giants.

It just doesn't make sense from a Giants' front office perspective.

Sure, Belt is ripping up Spring Training and has all the necessary tools to be a legitimate ballplayer right now.

He could make the Giants' line-up better from top to bottom.

Cody Ross is hurt and this is as good of a time as any for Belt to be entered into the line-up.

Yet, the Giants will not start Belt at first base on Opening Day.

2011 NL West Season Preview & Predictions

Last season, the National League West went from one of the worst divisions in baseball to arguably one of the best.

The San Diego Padres came out of nowhere last season, only to crumble down the stretch and fall to the eventual World Series Champion San Francisco Giants who finished at 92-70.

Still, the Padres finished 2010 at 90-72, and even the Rockies, who finished third in the West, were 83-79, giving the NL West three teams over .500.

2011 may be a different story for the NL West. On paper, the division is much worse than it was last season.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Nastiest Pitch in Baseball for 2011

The 2010 baseball season was the closest we have come to The Year of the Pitcher since 1968, when it was custom to win more than 20 games, and batting averages just barely slid into the .200's.

In 2010, it was crazy how many no-hitters and perfect games were thrown.

We, as fans, are blessed to be witnessing such talents on the mound these days. Not just talent, but young talent.

I'm talking guys like Tim Lincecum, Felix Hernandez, Ubaldo Jimenez, David Price, etc. The list goes on and on.

But what all these pitchers have is what makes them unique. They have that one signature pitch.

It could be the one they rely on to get strike one, or the one they rely on to get strike three.

The bottom line is every one of those signature pitches are straight filthy.

Brian Wilson's Opening Day In Doubt; Is His Beard Okay?

The likelihood of Brian Wilson appearing on Opening Day at Chavez Ravine is doubtful after he was yanked from a bullpen session today.

Reports are he felt a little discomfort and was told to stop.

Is this a setback?

Who are you asking?

According to Wilson, no, but then again this is Brian Wilson, and rarely do we see him stress publicly about anything. Especially something as lowly as a strained oblique. It just doesn't fit his lumberjack persona.

Of course the Giants don't feel that way. Jeremy Affeldt was held out of 23 games last summer for a strained oblique.

But Wilson is better than that, right? Fear the Beard?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

When The Jersey Comes Off, Nobody Cares

Barry Bonds is in trouble. With his perjury trial underway, Bonds faces a maximum of ten years in prison, as well as his public appearance and legacy tarnished. As if it wasn't already.

For three years we have waited for this. The date was March 2011, and everyone in San Francisco and anyone who had grown up with Bonds in their life would remember that date. The day is finally here.

Evidence is stacked up against Bonds. The prosecution has witnesses, trainers, mistresses, everything you can hope to put, as bashed a public figure as there is, away for some time.