Sharks Start Season with 4-3 Shootout Win Over Coyotes

The San Jose Sharks Tomas Hertl (48) jubilant after scoring against the Arizona Coyotes he is joined by Evander Kane (9), John Leonard (right of Kane), and Nilolai Knyzhov (71) in the first period (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks started the 2021 season with a 4-3 shoot-out win in Arizona against the Coyotes. Tomas Hertl scored twice, John Leonard got two assists in his first NHL game. Evander Kane scored the Sharks’ third goal and Logan Couture scored the game-winner in the shootout. Conor Garland, Clayton Keller and Phil Kessel scored for Arizona. Martin Jones made 34 saves for the win, while Darcy Kuemper made 32 saves in the loss.

After the game, Logan Couture said: “I thought we were sloppy at times but I thought we did a lot of things really well. We had some speed through the neutral zone and that one line, Tommy Hertl’s line, created some nice goals. And Joner made some big-time saves when we had those breakdowns.”

Martin Jones did a lot of work during the long layoff and looked good Thursday. After the game, he said: “I think I took full advantage of the time and I put in a lot of work. So, it was nice to be able to play well in the first game but, you know, it’s one game, we gotta keep working at it here. There’s a lot of things that we can clean up.”

Couture gave a post-game nod to the rookie Sharks, saying: “Some guys played their first NHL game tonight, I thought they were terrific tonight.” Those first-timers were John Leonard and Nicholas Meloche. Leonard had two assists in his 13:14 of ice time. Meloche was a +1 in his 5:43 on the blue line.

Tomas Hertl scored twice in the first period for the Sharks, the first a power play goal at 12:43. Logan Couture took a shot from the boards, which bounced arond in the crease before Hertl put it away. Assists went to Evander Kane and Couture.

The second goal came with just over three minutes left in the period. John Leonard had just thrown the puck to the net, creating a rebound for Hertl to put away. Assists went to Leonard and Kane.

The Coyotes rallied in the second, Conor Garland scored for the Coyotes on a power play at 16:51 of the second period. Joel Kellman was in the box for tripping Derick Brassard. It was the Sharks’ third penalty in a row. The Coyotes were able to move the puck cross-ice several ties before Christian Dvorak’s shot found Garland’s tick for a tip in front of the net. Assists went to Dvorak and Jakob Chychrun.

Going into the third period, Evander Kane had two assists. With an aggressive charge to the net, and a Coyote on one arm, he scored the Sharks’ third goal a little past the midway point of the third period. Assists went to John Leonard and Tomas Hertl.

The 3-1 lead held up well into the third period.

Clayton Keller scored for the Coyotes’ with just 3:30 left in the third. Finding himself alone in the high slot, he caught the puck as it came out of a skirmish in front of the net and put it over Jones’ right shoulder before the goalie could get across. Assists went to Garland and Chychrun.

Phil Kessel tied the game up with just four seconds left in regulation. Under a lot of pressure with the Coyotes net empty, Martin Jones made a couple of good saves before it got by him. The Coyotes had three skaters in front of him and they all got a shot before Kessel’s went in. Assists went to Alex Goligoski and Clayton Keller.

The Sharks got a power play at 3:13 of overtime, when Clayton Keller was called for tripping Kevin Labanc. The Sharks OT power play started with Logan Couture, Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson and Tomas Hertl. After a shot went over the glass, Kane came onto the ice with Timo Meier and Ryan Donato, with Karlsson staying on. Neither unit scored before time ran out, in the power play and the period.

Each team scored on their first shot in the shootout, first Arizona’s Nick Schmaltz and the San Jose’s Ryan Donato. After that, Martin Jones stopped Clayton Keller and Conor Garland missed. Logan Couture scored to close it out.

The modified season has the Sharks playing against the Coyotes again on Saturday before moving on to St. Louis.

San Jose Sharks podcast with Matt Harrington: NHL to open two outdoor games in Tahoe; How the Sharks opening up first 10 games on the road will work

The San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau in this Feb 22, 2020 photo skating against the New York Islanders will be doing a long tour of duty as the Sharks will open their first of ten games of the season on the road starting in Arizona on Jan 14, 2021 in Glendale (AP News photo)

On the Sharks podcast with Matt:

#1 Matt, Welcome back to another addition of the NHL season and hope your off season was great. Just wanted to start with the NHL considering opening the season up with two outdoor games in Lake Tahoe that won’t involve the San Jose Sharks and with no fans.

#1 The San Jose Sharks are scheduled to open their first ten games on the road because of San Jose and Santa Clara County has a shutdown ban and a ten day quarantine for anyone coming in and out of the County.

#2 Matt, talk about the advantages and disadvantages of playing away from your home rink for the first ten games of the season.

#3 The first ten games to open for the season is none too easy as it would be for any NHL that would open it’s season on the road, the Sharks will play two sets of games Jan 14 and 16th in Arizona, 18th and 20th in St Louis, 22 and 24th in Minnesota, and the 26 and 28th in Colorado.

#4 Last season for the post season the NHL held a very successful bubble in Toronto and Edmonton they won’t be doing anything like that this season because they won’t be able to see their families for a good six months in a bubble format like that. However where safety is concerned will travel put games and players at risk this season?

#5 In terms of getting these games going and getting players on and off planes and all the physical contact with each other in games will this still be a bigger undertaking as opposed to the way things were handled in the bubble during post season in Canada?

Matt Harrington is a beat writer for San Jose Sharks hockey at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Jose Sharks podcast with Matt Harrington Sat Jan 2, 2021 by Sports Radio Service | Free Listening on SoundCloud

 

San Jose Sharks podcast with Len Shapiro: Will Google and BART development give Sharks no choice but to leave San Jose?

SAP Center as it looked for the 25th Anniversary of the San Jose Sharks franchise the team might consider moving out of San Jose if Google, BART and other developments take over their parking, traffic, and parking concerns cut into their fan base. (file photo from NHL.com)

On the SJ Sharks podcast with Len:

#1 The San Jose Sharks say that parking and construction from the nearby Google project will cut into their parking lot. The Sharks who wrote a letter to their fans saying that they had concerns about Google taking part of the Sharks parking lot would cut into the team’s revenue.

#2 Did the City of San Jose have a hand in the planning because the Sharks are certainly a huge part of the South Bay sports community particularly in the San Jose city limits where they and the San Jose Earthquakes play and they would be a huge void if they left.

#3 Sharks president Jonathan Becher said the team supports development but said that the neighborhood shouldn’t have to be suffocated by a rash of 65 new buildings on 84 acres nearby the Caltrain station and BART station across the street from where the Sharks play. BART is expected to move in by 2030.

#4 Gridlock is a huge concern for the Sharks in the neighborhood with Google, fans coming to SAP Center, an expected 30,000 workers and 5,900 apartments for new housing.

#5 If the Sharks do get frustrated and move elsewhere they can’t move to Chase Center in San Francisco because they don’t have ice and in Sacramento at Golden One Center who also doesn’t have ice. The only place they can go to is the Oakland Coliseum Arena where they can fit ice but will the Sharks want to go Oakland and leave a downtown location?

Len Shapiro does the Sharks podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

SJ Sharks report: Joe Thornton Signs with Toronto Maple Leafs

Former San Jose Shark Joe Thornton joins the Toronto Maple Leafs after more than 15 seasons with the Sharks. Thornton who makes his home in San Jose in the off season left for Toronto Friday to sign with the Leafs (file photo from mercurynews.com)

By Mary Walsh

Joe Thornton signed a one year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs Friday. The contract is worth $700,000. Currently, Thornton is in Switzerland, playing with HC Davos of the Swiss National League. He expects to be ready to go when the NHL starts the new season.

Thornton’s absence will be noticeable in San Jose. Whether he wore the Captain’s C or not, Thornton was a leader in the Sharks dressing room. His play and his experience helped guide many younger players over many seasons. Fans came to consider him very much the face of the franchise, even if he was not drafted by San Jose. The Sharks team Twitter account said simply: “Going to log off for a bit. Brb. Maybe.”

Evander Kane tweeted : “Man I’m going to miss ya, but feel very fortunate to play with you and become great friends. So many fun memories in a short period of time. I’ll make sure to keep your seat next to me at the back of the plane vacant until you come back.”

Brent Burns tweeted: “Daaaamn…. going to miss a lot more then just laughing with this guy… ultimate teammate, friend and guy to learn from..@MapleLeafs got a great one coming!”

Joining the Maple Leafs is more than leaving San Jose for Thornton. A Toronto Sun headline today reads: “Greybeard Joe Thornton comes home to join Maple Leafs.” The Maple Leafs are iconic to the hockey world, but Thornton was born in London, Ontario, so Toronto means family and a return to his roots.

Thornton is the leader among active players in points with 1,509. He scored 1,055 of those with San Jose over 15 seasons. He won the Hart Trophy and Art Ross Trophy in 2006, for his performance during season that saw him traded from Boston to San Jose.

Patrick Marleau tweeted (by way of his wife’s account):

For more than two decades, Jumbo and I have been friends, with the vast majority of those years being teammates, too. I now consider him a brother. Toronto has gained a tremendous influence, and we will miss his presence here in San Jose. Good luck in TO! -PM

Marleau has just signed a one year contract with San Jose. Three seasons ago, he signed with Toronto and played two seasons there. According to NHL.com, Marleau said at that time that it was possible Thornton would sign with Toronto as well. Marleau had a three-year contract with Toronto, a deal that San Jose was unprepared to match.

One would think that the Sharks would have been willing to offer $700,000 for one more year of Thornton. Whether they did make that offer or not, Thornton’s absence signals significant changes to come in San Jose. After recent disappointments, that is probably a good thing in the long run. Whatever the future holds, the Sharks family will miss Jumbo Joe Thornton.

Sharks Report: Sharks Sign Marleau, Other Familiar Faces

Returning for the third time the San Jose Sharks Patrick Marleau is back after playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins last season. Marleau also played for the Toronto Maple Leafs after leaving San Jose the first time. (image from @SAPSports)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks have been busy signing and re-signing familiar players. Patrick Marleau and Matt Nieto return from their 2020 pandemic playoff teams. Kevin Labanc and Stefan Noesen were resigned. The Sharks also added a goaltender, trading a 2022 fifth round pick to the Minnesota Wild for Devan Dubnyk and a 2022 seventh round pick.

Of Dubnyk, the Sharks press release said: “Over his 11-year NHL career, the three-time NHL All-Star (2016, 2017, 2019) has appeared in 520 NHL games, earning a 247-195-52 record with a 2.58 GAA, .915 save percentage and 32 shutouts. He has also appeared in 26 Stanley Cup Playoff games, all with Minnesota, earning an 8-18 record with a 2.72 GAA and .904 SV% with two shutouts.” Minnesota retained 50% of Dubnyk’s salary. This is the last year of that contract.

Sharks General Manager, Doug Wilson said: “Devan has been one of the League’s top goaltenders for many years and after playing so many years in the Western Conference, is someone our hockey staff is very familiar with. As we head into what will surely be a unique season, his acquisition gives us a high-quality and experienced tandem of netminders.”

Patrick Marleau resigned a one-year contract with San Jose after playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins from the last trade deadline through a 2020 playoff run. Last season, Marleau joined the Sharks after the season started and had a good start, which faded along with the rest of the 2019-20 Sharks team. Despite that, he reached a number of milestones in 58 games with the Sharks. The team press release ennumerated them:

“In his first game back in teal, Marleau scored two goals to become the eighth player in NHL history to score a goal in his teens & 40s with the same franchise on Oct. 10 at Chicago. On Dec. 12, 2019 vs. the New York Rangers, he and Joe Thornton became the first set of teammates in NHL history having 1,600 regular-season games to their resume to play in the same game. Marleau appeared in his 1,700th NHL game on Jan. 11 vs. the Dallas Stars to become the fifth skater to reach the mark and scored his 100th career game-winning goal as a Shark the same night. On Jan. 27, he collected his 1,100th point as a Shark, achieving his 22nd consecutive season of at least 10 or more goals.”

Matt Nieto has also returned after playing 70 games with the Colorado Avalanche, including a playoff run in the Edmonton bubble. Nieto as drafted by the Sharks in 2011. Of the move, Doug Wilson said in a press release:

“Matt’s a player we’re obviously familiar with having been here for our Stanley Cup Final run in 2016 and he plays with speed and energy. His quickness and defensive responsibility made him one of the top penalty killers on Colorado and we feel that those assets, along with his decision making and playmaking, will bring a lot of elements to our team. We’re excited to have Matt back in San Jose.”

Kevin Labanc was re-signed to a four-year contract. Per ESPN, Labanc’s contract is worth an annual $4,725,000. Wilson said of the young forward:

“Kevin brings a rare level of offensive skill and creativity to our line-up and has established himself as a top-six forward in our league. His Game 7 playoff performance last season is one of the most iconic moments in Sharks history and is a perfect example of the impact he can have on a hockey game. Kevin has shown a consistent ability to perform at a high level in both the regular season and the playoffs and he will be a big part of our club in the coming years.”

Stefan Noesen was also re-signed from last year’s roster. Last season, Noesen joined the Sharks December 19 after being claimed off waivers from Pittsburgh. In the foreshortened season with San Jose, Noesen scored seven goals and to assists, and took 32 penalty minutes. He was the first Sharks player since Timo Meier to score a goal in his team debut.

Of Noesen’s return to the team, Wilson said:

“Stefan came in here last season and made a pretty seamless transition both on and off the ice. He plays the game with a high tempo and energy and isn’t afraid to stick up for his teammates. We think he fits well with how we want our team to play and are happy he is returning to San Jose.”

One very familiar face is still missing from next season’s roster: Joe Thornton. He has not yet signed with an NHL team, but is playing in Davos, Switzerland to prepare. He has not ruled out coming back to San Jose, but it is far from certain at this time.

San Jose Sharks Stick with Boughner

San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner will get another season behind the bench for the Sharks as general manager Doug Wilson is happy to bring him back for 2020-21 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

On Tuesday, the San Jose Sharks announced that Bob Boughner would be their ninth Head Coach. Boughner took over as Interim Head Coach for the Sharks half way through last season, replacing Peter DeBoer.

In Tuesday’s press release, the Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson assessed Boughner’s time as Interim Head Coach. “Bob did a tremendous job last season, getting our group back to playing with an identity and structure that we need in order to be successful,” said Wilson. “We saw a marked improvement in our play in several key areas during the second half of the season, before losing some key players to injury.”

After a long NHL playing career and several successful seasons coaching Junior Hockey, Boughner joined the Sharks in 2015 as an assistant coach. In 2017, he was named Head Coach of the Florida Panthers. Two seasons later, he was replaced by Joel Quenneville in Florida and returned to the Sharks as an assistant coach. As a Head Coach in the NHL, his record is 94-82-25.

In the partial season as Interim Head Coach for the Sharks, Boughner saw his team win just 14 of 37 games, continuing the abysmal trend they were on when Peter DeBoer was fired. To make an already terrible season worse, the team lost Tomas Hertl, Logan Couture and Erik Karlsson to injury shortly after Boughner took over.

After the announcement Tuesday, Boughner thanked the Sharks owner and General Manager for bringing him back:

I’m very excited about the opportunity to return to the San Jose Sharks organization as head coach. I want to thank Hasso Plattner and Doug Wilson for their trust in me. Last year was a difficult season for everyone but I think we learned a lot about ourselves as a group and we made some positive strides over the second half of the year.

The roster that Boughner will have when regular play resumes will be somewhat changed from last season. While the injured players will likely be back, some long-time Sharks were traded at the deadline, such as defenseman Justin Braun and forward Barclay Goodrow. After struggling as the team did through the abbreviated 2019-2020 season, the Sharks would likely benefit from change. Whether the new Head Coach is enough of a change remains to be seen.

The Sharks also added Rocky Thompson as associate coach and John Madden as assistant coach. Of Thompson and Madden, Wilson said: “We’re also very pleased to add Rocky and John to our staff. Both come with a wealth of experience, both in playing the game and as teachers and leaders. With a healthy and motivated group of players, we are confident that this staff will do a terrific job leading our group in the coming years.”

Bob Boughner looks forward to working with his new coaches. In the Sharks press release, he said:

Rocky and John will bring some fresh energy and excitement to our group. Both have been head coaches, worked on coaching staffs in the NHL and have lots of experience working with and developing young players. It was important that anyone we brought in from the outside come from a culture of winning, which is what we are used to in San Jose. Rocky and John have the credibility and work ethic to help us get our talented team back to that level.

The coaching staff is rounded out by Evgeni Nabokov as goaltending coach, Dan Darrow as assistant video coach and Charlie Townsend as analyst/assistant to the NHL coaching staff. All are returning from last season.

Obituary: Ralph Gora former voice over talent dead at 90

file photo from fanbuzz.com: Former San Francisco 49er wide receiver Terrell Owens twice interviewed with Ralph Gora when Owens was with the Cowboys at the NFL Pro Bowl in Honolulu calling him over to do an exclusive something that was unheard of at the time

By Michael Wang (SRS Staff writer)

SAN JOSE–He was an incredible voice for introducing radio talent during restaurant remotes in San Jose. Ralph Gora voice over talent read copy before all shows introducing Sportstalks’ talent right here on sportsradioservice.com from Chachoe’s Mexican Restaurant, Picasso’s Spanish Restaurant and many more in downtown San Jose. His voice would carry over the entire restaurant when he read his copy introductions.

Ralph had been having a bout with a broken hip and passed away at the age of 90. Ralph was born in Honolulu Hawaii well before it became the 50th state in 1930. He moved to San Jose and attended San Jose State University and graduated as a space engineer. Ralph worked at Ford Aerospace after graduating and retired.

After retirement Ralph took work doing voice overs at 1430 KVVN starting in 2002, besides doing many voice overs and radio introductions at various South Bay restaurants and locations promoting fine dinning and introducing Sportstalk talent from the likes of Michael Duca (mlb.com), David Zizmor (SF 49ers analyst), Shawn McCullough (webmaster and site photographer), Jeremy Kahn (Oakland Raiders beat writer), Amaury Pi Gonzalez (Oakland A’s Spanish radio),  and many more Ralph got to cover Fight Nights in the Tank at SAP Center along with co-writer Michael Wang.

Both Ralph and Michael covered boxer Andre Ward who came from Oakland to fight in San Jose. Ward was very gracious with his interviews with Ralph. Ralph covered two Pro Bowls in Honolulu and interviewed many NFL All Stars.

One former Dallas Cowboy wide receiver Terrell Owens called over to Ralph Gora to go ahead and interview him and also asked Ralph to sit with him. A rarity from someone like Owens who had a on and off again relationship with the media.

Ralph was one of a kind never bashful, a pitchman, a host introducing guests on the radio, a salesman in marketing, Ralph could do it all. Ralph worked at sportsradioservice.com from 2002-2010.  RIP Ralph we can only imagine your introducing saints and angels now in the big podcast in the sky.

 

NHL, Sharks, Suspend All Games Due to COVID-19 Concerns

The Capital One Arena, home of the Washington Capitals NHL hockey club, sits empty Thursday, March 12, 2020, in Washington. The NHL is following the NBA’s lead and suspending its season amid the coronavirus outbreak, the league announced Thursday (photo from usnews.com)

By Mary Walsh

On Thursday the NHL announced a pause in the season. They released a statement that read, in part:

In light of ongoing developments resulting from the coronavirus, and after consulting with medical experts and convening a conference call of the Board of Governors, the National Hockey League is announcing today that it will pause the 2019-20 season beginning with tonight’s games.

The move came on the heels of the NBA’s decision to suspend their season after one of their players tested positive for the new virus. Other leagues and events in the US are being suspended or cancelled daily due to concerns over the virus.

The San Jose Sharks had previously announced that March games would be played without fans and only limited media access, consistent with Santa Clara County’s March 9 ban large gatherings of people. After today’s NHL announcement, the Sharks released the following press release about the status of games and tickets:

The National Hockey League has announced today that the 2019-20 NHL regular season will be paused for the safety of its players, employees, and fans in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sharks Sports & Entertainment is fully supportive of the NHL’s decision.

With NHL games now being placed on hold as opposed to played without fans, ticket holders are asked to hang on to their tickets until additional information from the NHL becomes available.

As new developments arise, we will communicate with our fans and partners. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

The AHL has also suspended play, which puts the San Jose Barracuda and Stockton Heat and their fans in the same state of limbo as the Sharks.

The NHL expressed the hope that the season could resume at an appropriate time. There are 189 regular season games remaining, as well as the Stanley Cup playoffs. For the complete statement, go to the NHL website.

Sharks’ skid continues on road; Blackhawks unload on SJ 6-2

photo from sfgate.com: Chicago Blackhawks’ Alex DeBrincat (12) battles San Jose Sharks’ Noah Gregor (73) and Marc-Edouard Vlasic (44) for a loose puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, March 11, 2020, in Chicago

~ By Pearl Allison Lo

~ With their fourth straight loss and fifth consecutive on the road, San Jose slid further in a 6-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. 

It was the Sharks’ most goals given up since a month ago on February 10 versus the Calgary Flames. 

San Jose goalie Aaron Dell himself is mired in a five-game slump, with an average of over three goals given up meanwhile. 

Chicago star Patrick Kane led with two goals and a season-high 11 shots. He has had five goals in his last five games.

The Sharks scored in the opening and closing periods while the Blackhawks scored a trio of goals in the second and the third. 

The Blackhawks perhaps got their mojo going when they scored the second and third of a combined three special teams goals to start the game off.  Previously, Chicago was 0-for-14 with the man advantage.

First, though, it was San Jose’s turn. Chicago set the stage with two penalties taken 15 seconds apart, starting at 8:55. Dylan Strome was called for tripping and Ryan Carpenter whistled for hi-sticking. The Sharks’ Joe Thornton, situated in the right faceoff circle, passed it to Evander Kane, who was able to deflect the puck to the right side of goalie Corey Crawford into the net. This occurred with six seconds left on Strome’s penalty. 

The next four goals belonged to the Blackhawks. Alex DeBrincat got assists on the first three. 

After exchanging passes with Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith struck from the point with the help of a screen at 4:33. This came a minute after Antti Suomela was penalized for hooking.

Chicago went ahead for good when Kane scored his 32nd goal. He accomplished it with all the attention focused on DeBrincat, even though Kane was corralled by defenseman Radim Simek. The Sharks’ Brent Burns was in the box at the time for roughing. 

Brandon Saad made it 3-1 at 17:58 to end the second and Alex Nylander pushed the margin to three goals to open the third at 1:31. 

San Jose experienced a bit of relief when Timo Meier tacked on a goal at 6:39.  

Kane added his second goal at 16:19 and rookie Dominik Kubalik finished the game off with his 30th goal at 18:03. 

Up Next: The Sharks potentially (amidst coronavirus concerns) head to Saint Louis to hopefully cure their blues at 5pm on Friday for game two of their four-game road trip. 

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: NBA season suspended; Quakes cancel home game Mar 21st; Giants and A’s could cancel games soon enough

desertnews.com file photo: The Utah Jazz Rudy Gobert was tested positive for the Coronavirus on Wednesday leading to the cancellation of the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder and suspension of the NBA season.

NBA season suspended due to Coronavirus/A’s Opener in Doubt

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

Amaury Pi-González

OAKLAND–The NBA who announced they have suspended their season until further notice. The Utah Jazz’ Rudy Gobert was making some fun about Coronavirus during a press conference before their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder started touching the surfaces and microphones that were there. Later that night he was diagnosed with the Covid 19 virus and the game was canceled leading later to the suspension of the NBA season.

The San Jose Earthquakes have canceled their home game on Saturday March 21st and it’s possible the MLS season could be suspended as well. The San Jose Sharks and the NHL have not suspended their season yet but the cost of having games and teams traveling to play in front of empty arenas will cost too much for the gate driven sport and they may end up canceling as well.

The Pac 12 Tournament is being played at T Mobile Center in Las Vegas as both the Cal Bears and the Stanford Cardinal faced each other on Wednesday night. The game was played in front of an empty arena as the rest of March will be unless the NCAA suspends March Madness as well.

The Coronavirus pandemic is starting to reach havoc in Bay Area sports. After Alameda County joined San Francisco in recommending events with 1,000 or more people be cancelled or postponed,it looks like the Oakland Athletics home opener on Thursday the 26th of March against the Minnesota Twins is very much in jeopardy. The Giants earlier today announced that the pre-season game against the A’s at Oracle Park Mon Mar 24th had been canceled after the city announced a two-week ban on all events (sports included) of 1,000 or more people.

Today the Oakland Athletics issued the following statement: Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our community. We will adhere to any government directives, and work with Major League Baseball on all alternative arrangements to ensure the health of our fans and our community remains a top priority.

While the A’s Opening Day is this 26th, the San Francisco Giants will be opening the season on the road for the 11th consecutive year, also the 26th at Dodger Stadium vs Dodgers. As of today that game is “on” as far as the Dodgers are concerned, but the situation about Coronavirus is very fluid, so things can change at any given time.

Meanwhile,the new Giants neighbors, the Golden State Warriors who announced today that the team will play its next home game without fans this Thursday against the Brooklyn Nets. Later after that announcement came the NBA has suspended the season.

Earlier this week, NBA, MLB, NHL and MLS. These four major active sports leagues in the U.S. decided to bar nonessential individuals, including reporters, from clubhouses and locker rooms. It will be left to local communities/cities to play with or without fans,depending what part of the country the events take place.

The biggest sporting event in the world this year is the Olympics and If the Olympics can’t go ahead this summer in Tokyo because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the most realistic option would be to delay the event by one or two years, a member of the executive board for the Japanese organizing committee recently said.

All over the US,sporting events have been affected.

Note: Last time we had a flu pandemic of this magnitude(or close) was in 2009 when the virus was commonly referred to as “swine flu”,which began in the spring of 2009, the virus had spread to the US from an outbreak in Veracruz,Mexico. CDC estimated that about 59 million Americans contracted this virus strain, 265,000 where hospitalized as a result and 12,000 died.

California was the most affected State with 10,545 reported and confirmed cases and 657 dead. (World) 150,000 to 575,000 died. One quick note the Spanish flu lasted two years in 1918 killing an estimated 20-80 million people. Coronavirus is expected to dissipate at some point as the epicenter of the virus Wuhan China is now getting back to normal.