Anyway, having seen what happened with the NY Giants, I was hoping that the long road trip for the Sharks would have the same kind of effect on them. Perhaps they could all become men together!!! And they did! While there were some umm... defensive problems last night, it was just so satisfying to see pretty much the whole team playing hard and being effective after flailing around most of the season (especially at home).
Cheech has most definitely got it back, Torrey/Riz/Grier are the backbone of the team (although Grier was kind of sucky last night), Marleau/Pavelski/whoever are actually useful, Jody Shelley is a points machine *boggles*, Ehrhoff and Murray have become pretty solid, even Matt Carle is shooting when he should and has stopped passing to Joe Thornton and then running away!!! I'm still cautiously optimistic about Campbell because it's only been 4 games, but I like what I see so far, and hopefully he'll be an inspiration for some of the other defensemen.
I'm kind of sad that Campbell's goal eclipsed Cheech's, because Cheech's was so much better. *cries with pride* I've never seen him score that kind of goal before, and given what he's accomplished without doing that kind of thing, it's kind of scary to think what he'll do if he's got that in his arsenal now.
*squeaks* Vlasic article! I'm excited for him to start developing his offensive skills. :D
From Vlasic blooms on blue line with Sharks:
With the exception of recently acquired defenceman Brian Campbell, no San Jose Sharks skater sees more ice time than Marc-édouard Vlasic. Not bad for a 20-year-old who was once worried about being sent back to junior hockey.
"When I first came to training camp (in 2006), I'm pretty sure their plan was to send me back to junior," said Vlasic, who grew up playing minor hockey on the West Island. "I tried to play as hard as I could, so that I would at least make that decision difficult for them."
Vlasic made the team and played 81 games as the youngest defenceman in the NHL, collecting four goals and 33 assists as a rookie. He was named to the NHL all-rookie team, along with teammate Matt Carle.
"Last year, Marc Vlasic started at the bottom of the list but by the end of the year, he was our best defenceman," San Jose coach Ron Wilson said.
"He gets better every day," veteran defenceman Craig Rivet added.
Vlasic hasn't missed a game this season and also put in some overtime during the all-star break. While most of his teammates enjoyed a few days off, Vlasic was sent to the Sharks' American Hockey League farm club. It wasn't because he was playing poorly, but because the Sharks wanted to give him every chance to improve.
"I went down there so that I could get some time on the power play," Vlasic said. "It would have been nice to have a few days off, but it was a good experience."
The young defenceman said that free time is a luxury during the NHL season as the Sharks cope with the kind of whacky schedule that seems all too common in the NHL.
San Jose returned Sunday from a 16-day, eight-game road trip. The Sharks are back home long enough to play the Canadiens last night and the Ottawa Senators tomorrow before going back on the road to play Chicago, Minnesota and Nashville.
"It's crazy; it's like we're on a four-week road trip," Vlasic said.
Last night marked the first time Vlasic has faced the Canadiens and he said the game was special, even if he didn't root for them as a youngster.
"They're my hometown team and I used to watch them all the time, but I definitely didn't root for them. I was a Detroit fan, but I don't root for them anymore."