Here's a magic lamp. You have three hockey-related wishes: go!
Okay, that's a bit too open-ended to be fun. Restrictions breed creativity, after all. How about this?
1) The Best Team Ever. Using your three wishes you can have any three players from your favorite team's history IN THEIR PRIME on your team right now. You can pick anyone who ever played for your team, even if they weren't in their prime when they did so. Who do you pick and why? And don't worry about salary cap stuff, you nerd.
2) The Fantasy Draft. Your three wishes equal the first three overall picks in a complete re-draft of the NHL. Who do you pick and why? Assume you won't have any other picks for the rest of the first three rounds, so make these ones count.
or how about
3) The Evil Genie. Use your three wishes to cause any three players in the league to retire and pursue a career working as either a lumberjack (for Canadians) a government hit-man (Russians) or a paleontologist specializing in mammoths (Joe Thornton only). Which three players do you want to get rid of, basically? Would you pick guys you hate or would you try to cripple your least-favorite teams?
My picks after the jump.
1) The three players from Sharks history I would want on the team right now would be Joe Thornton is his prime (probably the year he came over to the Sharks), Owen Nolan (from 99-00 when he scored 44 goals) and Arturs Irbe (the year he dragged the Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup finals). Thornton and Nolan are obvious choices - though Thornton is a lot better defensively now then he was when he first came over to the Sharks. Irbe is mostly a fun nostalgia pick but I really think that on the modern Sharks instead of the crappy teams he played for his entire career (including, especially, the Sharks of 91-95) Irbe could do some amazing stuff. LIKE WALL!
2) My top three picks out of all current NHL players would be Anze Kopitar, Phil Kessel, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. This fantasy draft thing is more difficult right now than it has been in years. Alexander Ovechkin seems like he might be on the decline, Sidney Crosby has returned but his next concussion could be a career ender, and guys like Phil Kessel have suddenly decided to be amazing. There are a lot of players you could make a case for with these top three picks, honestly. I picked Kopitar because I want a youngish play-making center (Couture's great but not proven yet), Kessel because I want someone for Kopitar to pass to, and Vlasic because he's going to be an amazing shut-down guy for many years to come. Since I won't get to draft a goalie in the first three rounds after this I'll need a solid defensive defenseman, and Vlasic can do the job (also I felt bad about not picking Couture so I wanted to pick a Shark).
2) The three players I would banish from the league are Steve Ott (he can get a job as an Alan Tudyk impersonator at Firefly conventions) Corey Perry (for obvious reasons) and Drew Doughty (to hurt the Kings).
Boy, that was fun!
(This segment of today's gameday post is brought to you by Aladdin, my 64th-favorite movie of all time. Enjoy!)
And now on to tonight's game.
Here's a weird coincidence: Last year on Thanksgiving the Sharks played the Blackhawks. In my gameday post I argued passionately that the Sharks should have given the start in goal to Antero Niittymaki, rather than Antti Niemi, because 1) Nitty had been hot at the time and 2) The reason given for starting Niemi (his familiarity with the Blackhawks shooters from being on the team the previous year) was stupid.
The Sharks didn't listen to me and Niemi got the start and played really well and San Jose won 5-2. I still stand by my arguments, though. Niemi beat the Blackhawks because he's a good goalie (as it turns out) and not because he had insider knowledge of them. That's just dumb.
Niemi will probably start tonight. The Sharks will probably win because they are good, not because Niemi has special skills he can use against the Blackhawks since he used to be one of them, like he's freaking Dinobot or something.
Prediction: The Sharks stay one jump ahead of the breadline, one swing ahead of the sword, and win 3-2 in OT.