Some odds and ends from today’s practice in Cranberry.
— Bryan Rust on his newfound celebrity: “Definitely more people are noticing me, that’s for sure. It’s obviously a really great feeling, but I think the feeling of going to the Stanley Cup Final trumps it.”
— Phil Kessel’s scouting report on the Sharks is awesome because it could literally be used before every playoff series beyond the first round in the history of hockey: “Obviously they’ve played unbelievable hockey down the stretch and in the playoffs. They’re a great team. They’ve got a lot of great players. It’s going to be tough. Real tough.”
— When people talk about why Kessel is so good in the playoffs, they usually talk about his calm demeanor. I’m guilty of doing that too. Sidney Crosby, however, has a better reason for why Kessel seems to be a strong postseason performer: “With his shot, especially the way the playoffs are, everything’s so tight, there’s not a lot of time and space, it works out pretty good for him with that release he has and how dangerous he is.”
— Having talked to Crosby a bunch this season, I feel like this quote really summarizes how he feels about this series. In most cases, he thinks games aren’t decided by any of the noise that sports writers spend a lot of time talking about: “We’ll see who executes and who’s at their best here in the final round.”
Now, how about a list of 10 players you didn’t know played for the San Jose Sharks:
— Colby Armstrong’s little brother Riley Armstrong played two games in 08-09.
— In between much more memorable stints with Chicago and Dallas, Ed Belfour worked in 13 games with the Sharks in 96-97.
— Brad Boyes went on to be a 40-goal scorer, but his first NHL game was a one-game call-up from the Cleveland Barons to the Sharks in 03-04.
— Dave Brown is one of the toughest men to ever play in the NHL. You probably remember him with the Flyers. He played 37 games with San Jose in 95-96.
— Everyone remembers the Penguins getting Bill Guerin from the Islanders at the trade deadline in 2009. Fewer remember the Sharks picking him up from the Blues at the deadline in 2007.
— Famous for his skullet and huge slap shot, Al Iafrate played 59 games for San Jose in 96-98.
— Former Penguins defenseman Jim Kyte, the hearing impaired heavyweight, played 75 games for the Sharks from 94-96.
— Claude Lemieux finished up his career with 18 games for the Sharks in 08-09.
— Before he became Jaromir Jagr’s buddy with the Penguins, Kip Miller played 11 games for the Sharks in 93-94.
— If you’re like me, you know Chris Terreri as Martin Brodeur’s backup. He also went 19-39-4 with the Sharks from 95-97.
Finally, former Sharks winger Link Gaetz is one of the most maniacal enforcers in NHL history. Watch a highlight video of his exploits. Some Joey Kocur and Bob Probert in there. Good times.
— Jonathan Bombulie (@JBombulie) May 28, 2016
Bye for now,