| Optimism begins to wane
No sugar coating ugly hockey
Six losses into the San Jose Sharks current
losing streak and the spin has begun. Sharks G.M. Doug Wilson has stated that
it is a matter of time before the team breaks through and begins to put
together the type of hockey that led them into the NHL's version of the final
four during the last hockey season.
Who really knows? All I know is that Wilson is a man of integrity who truly
does have the team's best interest at heart. He works within the ramifications
of the salary structure allotted to him by those above him. Although no major
signing was made by the Sharks in the pre-season Wilson did attempt to bring in
the league's top defender in Scott Neidermeyer.
The Sharks are in the bottom third of current team salary and have a lot of
wiggle room for possible late season or next season acquisitions. The problem
is that Shark's fans have waited several years for an actual viable Stanley Cup
Shark's fans, tantalized by the last Pacific Division title and subsequent
playoff run thought they had it with this year's team. Thus far those hopes
have seemed like a pipe-dream.
As I write, the Sharks are 27th on the power play succeeding 12.4% of the time.
On the Penalty kill they rank 23rd at 80.6%. For those who aren't quick at the
math that means they allow a power play goal 19.4 % of the time. There are 30
teams in the league folks. In a nutshell; this aint good!
It's fairly common knowledge that the Sharks are a very, very young team. Milan
Michalek, Steve Bernier, Jim Fahey, Rob Davison, Nolan Schaefer, Ryan Clowe,
Christian Ehrhoff, Niko Dimitrakos and Tom Preissing are all either rookies or
are in essentially their second NHL season. That is a lot of inexperience on
The team lost Vincent Damphousse, Mike Ricci and Mike Rathje. The team hasn't
had a truly healthy Scott Thornton for part of the season and Scott Parker's
strong presence in the locker room has not been felt do to his injury. These
are veteran, character guys who have been through the battles in the past.
The team is highly inconsistent (a sign of youth). Head coach Ron Wilson has
been unable to find the right mesh of players on any of his lines and defensive
lapses have been infuriating to say the least.
Wilson has lashed out and benched a couple of players based on his opinion of
their performance and that hasn't made a difference either.
Patrick Marleau has been stellar, but let's be honest they have no one near his
caliber on this roster and thus, he too is unable to maximize his abilities on
this Shark team.
Their goal differential is still very much in the negative with no signs that
it will get better any time soon.
A certain amount of whispering is blowing in the wind that G.M. Wilson will
need to pull a trade to spark the team. Wilson is not the type to panic and I
think he will stay the course as much as possible.
But let's be honest the Sharks game is so guppy-like at the moment that
bringing in 1 player is not going to make any difference whatsoever.
Shark's fans need to keep their fingers crossed that Wilson is correct in his
mindset that the team will turn it around. For this to happen the youth of the
team must live and learn the pro game very quickly or the Shark's season will
continue to spiral to the bottom of the Pacific.
Contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org
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