| No fun
no fun being right all the time
11/29/05 - By Paul
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
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.
Contact Paul at at email@example.com
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