Friday, March 10, 2006

he's baaaaack

You think Doug Wilson has a short memory? This guy helped to kill the Sharks two years ago in the Western Conference Finals. Aquired from the Rangers for a 3rd round draft pick this year; in his first game in a Sharks uniform he tied for the team lead in hits. Ville Nieminen, welcome to the Western Conference playoff race. He started the game on the fourth line with McCauley and Parker, played more in the second, even replacing Ekman on the top line with J. Thornton and Cheechoo, and finished the game back with McCauley and Goc.

Oh yeah, San Jose won in regulation over Edmonton, 5-2. Edmonton had their new keeper in net and from the looks of things it wasn't as bad as the score appears. It was 2-2 heading into the third, but then San Jose decided to get some goals.

With 21 games to play (and two games in hand) the Sharks sit 10th in the conference and 6 points back of Edmonton. Edmonton made some of the biggest moves at the deadline, and with Vancouver going out and aquiring a NHL caliber defence core, it's tough to see who will drop out of the playoffs. Most likely result is that San Jose is going to have to earn that playoff spot by playing hard hitting hockey like they did last night.

Up next for the Sharks are the Nashville Predators, for an afternoon tilt on Saturday. Needless to say, for some teams on the outside looking in right now (i.e. Leafs, Sharks) the playoffs have started now.

On a personal note, I didn't hear a thing about Nieminen all year from New York and am interested to see what John Davidson has to say (if anything) about this trade this Saturday Night on the Satellite Hotstove. My feeling is that John Davidson is probably the best hockey mind on American television (he could be a GM), and as a reporter with the Rangers, he will have some good insight on possibly why the Rangers would part with such a key playoff performer in exchange for draft picks when they're in the playoffs themselves right now.

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