Monday, September 17, 2012

Swimming in the Shark Tank

For the next (and, to date, last) stop on my hockeysee, I’ve entered the Shark Tank in San Jose to see the Sharks play the Bruins.  Which would be an awesome fight, sharks versus bears.

Besides the fact that San Jose is actually a lot farther from San Francisco than I’d thought, getting to the HP Pavilion (which I’m pretty sure is the only arena named after a specific computer) was easy. What interested me most about the (pretty new (1992)) arena was that it was a single concourse building, with just 2 levels. The only other major arena I’ve seen like that was in Nassau, which was built in like the 60s.

The arena was nice, and, given my affinity for single-team arenas, you can tell who plays there. Call me kitschy,  but I like that.

Also, the players come out of a giant shark, which is AWESOME!

Also, the Zambonis have fins, even better

Ok, so really, the arena, while not exactly small, felt cozy (probably due to the whole one concourse thing).  Regardless, I did enjoy the place enough that if I lived in the Bay Area, I’d probably go relatively often (there’s a Caltran station close enough to get to).  The game was also interesting, featuring two legitimate playoff teams.  The Bruins, who by that point had all but locked up a playoff spot, were defending Stanley Cup champions to boot.  The Sharks, on the other hand, were fighting to keep a faint flicker of playoff hope alive (both teams would end up making the playoffs, only to lose in the first round).  So the Sharks definitely had something to play for, and faced a difficult opponent.

Still, the game was excellent, and I got to see one of the members of the Stanley Cup winning team in Chicago, Antti Niemi.


It was a relatively close affair, with the Sharks scoring in the first, leading to this:

And the teams trading goals in the third, including Zdeno Chara’s impressive shot off the back leg of Niemi to cut the deficit to 1.  However, the Sharks would hold out, and keep their playoff hopes alive.  And with that, for the most part, this year’s chapter of my hockeysee comes to a close.  12 cities were completed this season (including the supremely awesome Winter Classic in Philly), with 14 to go until the finish line.  As of now, I have seen all but 6 teams either home or away (Vancouver, Columbus, Florida, Ottawa, Montreal and Boston), and, pending a speedy resolution to the labor dispute, have tickets to opening night against Columbus back at the UC.  But more on that in my next post.

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