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No fun
It's no fun being right all the time
11/29/05 - By Paul Krill

That's right. It's no fun being right all the time. While others may have banked on attending a Sharks Stanley Cup Championship parade down Santa Clara Street next June, I had a different prediction for the 2005-2006 campaign.

Before the season, I predicted the Sharks would suffer the consequences of failing to replace veterans like Mike Rathje and taking a pass on free agents such as Paul Kariya, and would miss the playoffs altogether. (As I've said before - are we really supposed to believe the Sharks are so much smarter than the dozens of teams that did sign one of the available free agents? That the Sharks farm system is so much better than all the other teams? That the Sharks have some sort of wisdom from on high that escapes all the other franchises? Come on, now.)

I also said the Sharks' appearance in the Western Conference Finals well over a year ago would have no bearing whatsoever on how this current team fares, since that was so long ago, many players have left and replacements were not brought in from the free agent market.

Additionally, I predicted the token reduction in player miles traveled as a result of the awful new schedule format would make no difference whatsoever as far as improved play by the Sharks.

Well, 23 games into the season, the Sharks are in the bottom five in scoring, letting in lots of goals and are mired in last place. Currently on a nine-game losing streak, we have to wonder just how long it will take for this team to win another game.

With the Sharks currently not qualifying as a winning team worth paying a lot of money to see, Sharks management now must sell a schedule packed with dud match-ups against the Phoenix Coyotes and Anaheim Mighty Ducks and no games whatsoever against high-profile attractions such as the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins. All for the benefit of the fans, we're supposed to believe. (Did anybody else tire of the constant plugs for the "excitement of increased rivalries" during the free Center Ice preview on TV?)

It's still not too late to turn things around, but can this team turn things around? Will there be a major trade that sends some of our favorite players packing in hopes of salvaging this season? The other night, Sharks GM Doug Wilson during a pre-game interview on Fox Sports acknowledged being approached by other teams looking for a gold mine but only offering the shaft in return.

It's disappointing, to say the least, that the Sharks are in this position.

The current sellouts the Sharks have been having are, I believe, widely the result of good feelings carrying over from the 2003-04 season, fans being excited about having hockey back and the team scheduling most of its home games for Saturday nights. When the smoke clears from all these positives, what happens to attendance then?

For me, I can take the gratification of being right when so many others were wrong. But it sure would be more fun to be wrong in this instance.

Go ahead, Sharks: Prove me wrong.

…Penalty shots: While surveys said most fans favored the shootout before the season began, I shared the sentiments of one NHL insider who asked just how much fans would enjoy the shootout when the home team starts losing them. Well, Sharks fans now can ask this question of themselves, given the recent shootout failures on Sharks home ice.

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