Monday, November 3, 2008

Sharks fans won't be seeing #11 tomorrow - Owen Nolan placed on Minnesota IR

The San Jose Sharks will have to come up with a new way to advertise the game tomorrow night against the Minnesota Wild. The match-up previously tagged with "Owen Nolan returns with the 1st place Wild" (still on the Sharks' website as of 4:57pm) will no longer feature the former Sharks right wing (1995 to 2003, captain from 1998 to 2003), as he was placed on the injured reserve list with a lower-body injury. Nolan has 1 goal and 3 assists thus far in the season. He played with the Calgary Flames last season, who of course lost to the Sharks in seven games in the quarterfinals.

Miniature preview of tomorrow's game

Andrew Brunette - Mikko Koivu - Antti Miettinen. That line is stellar, to the point that when it scores a goal, the Minnesota Wild are 6-0. When they DON'T score a goal, they're 1-2-1. Brunette has four goals, Koivu has two, and Miettinen leads the team with six. On the other hand, Marian Gaborik (Minnesota's superstar) has just one goal, and no assists... mainly because he's on the IR as well, with an injury similar to Nolan's.

My hare-brained hypothesis on why the Brunette-Koivu-Miettinen line is doing well - both Koivu and former Dallas Star Miettinen are Finnish. Communication is key, after all. Oh, and goalie Niklas Backstrom - also Finnish. Just saying.

Actually, communication will be instrumental for Koivu at the least, considering that he was named the team captain for the month of November.

Recent History

Last season, the Sharks played the Wild (surprise!) four times... and won all 4 games, albeit 2 in the shootout. Nabby (surprise!) was in net for all 4 games.

On December 11, 2007, the Sharks won at home 4-1.

On December 31, 2007, the Sharks won in MN 3-2. This year - same time, same place... I'm working on attending myself.

On March 9, 2008, the Sharks won 3-2 in MN in the shootout... that game featured Patrick Marleau's game-saving stick save.

On March 19, 2008, the Sharks won 4-3 at home in the shootout... that game featured Kurtis Foster's gut-wrenching leg injury. Torrey Mitchell unfortunately got his comeuppance (read - Foster invested in a voodoo doll)... but will still be back on the ice before Foster.

Actually, the last time the Sharks lost to the Wild was on October 21, 2006, at the HP Pavilion. Score - 4-1. Nabby was in net, though he was also there for the other 3 games that season (all victories for Team Teal).


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