Friday, October 7, 2022

Sharks Hockey is Back!

Woo-hoo!!!  It's finally time!  Today is our first official game of the season!

And I don't have to wait much longer because it's actually on in a few hours.  Since our beloved San Jose Sharks are playing the Nashville Predators overseas in Czechia (as part of the NHL Global Series), the game actually starts at 2:00 PM this afternoon.  I can't wait to sit back and watch!  It feels like forever since Eliot and I last watched them play, but things have been heating up for the past few weeks... 

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In fact, San Jose Sharks hockey has actually been back for the past month or so.  The guys have all been in training camp since mid-September and they had a bunch of preseason games towards the end of the month.  I know preseason games don't count for anything, but I was definitely keeping tabs on how they went!

I was actually able to watch our pre-season game on September 30th, when we had a split squad against the Vegas Golden Knights, on the NHL Network.  (Thank you Fubo!)  That same night, the other half of the team was playing in Anaheim against the Ducks... that didn't go so well, but the Vegas game was a great one to watch!  The Sharks played pretty well, Timo Meier had 3 assists, Tomas Hertl had 2 assists and Danil Gushchin got a hat trick!!!  The best part was that we were annihilating Vegas.  I relished in watching our mostly younger players beat the veteran Vegas squad 7-3.

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Earlier this week on Tuesday, the Sharks played Eisbaren Berlin in Germany.  It was their last pre-season game against the Berlin hockey team that's won the past two championships in their league.  While the Sharks were expected to win as an NHL team against the other league, it was still a really exciting event to watch.  That game was also broadcast on the NHL Network so at 2:00 PM I hunkered down to spend the afternoon watching San Jose Sharks hockey against the Berlin "Polar Bears".

It was a really big deal for the fans of the local team to see NHL level players in their home arena.  It was also a big deal because hockey fans from all over Europe were traveling to see the Sharks play in person.  Some of the people online have been saying that this is the first time they've ever been able to see the Sharks live, so that was really cool.  The arena was full and the atmosphere was electric.  I was pleased to see quite a bit of teal in the sea of jerseys.  Sharks Territory is worldwide!

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The guys had a great game.  After being scored on in the second period, the Sharks put up three unanswered goals to win the game 3-1.  The best part of the game was when Tomas Hertl passed to Timo Meier who literally turned around and passed the puck back to Hertl backwards without looking.  Hertl was charging towards the net and it went in for their first goal.  Timo and Tomas have played together so much that they just know where the other is going to be.  It was definitely a highlight reel play!

After the game, the players stood along the blue lines where they announced the top three players of the game.  There were massive cheers for European NHL stars Tomas Hertl as the #2 star, and Timo Meier as the #1 star of the game.  (Timo was also very popular with the local media since he speaks fluent German- his native language from where he's from in Switzerland.)  Both teams also got into a line to shake hands with each other, something that I've always admired about the playoffs in hockey.  (No other major sports league has a tradition of a formal handshake line.)  Finally, both teams gathered at center ice for a group photo which I thought was a nice touch.  The entire event was a great display of camaraderie and sportsmanship!

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Preseason might be over, but there's still more hockey to be played overseas.  A few hours from now, the 2022-2023 NFL season officially kicks off.  The Sharks will play Nashville in Prague today and tomorrow.  Two of our players, Tomas Hertl and Radim Simek are from Czechia, so I hope the games go well and the European fans enjoy watching them play!  Plus, tomorrow is Timo Meier's birthday, so hopefully the boys can get #28 a win for it... and maybe he'll even score a goal?

I'm really excited for this upcoming season and I'm even more excited that Eliot and I will be able to see them all in person a week from today in San Jose!!!  Woo!!!

Good luck and have a great season guys!!!  Go Sharks!!!  °o°

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