Support TheFeeder, visit our sponsors
 FEEDER FEATURES
  MESSAGE BOARDS
  NEWSROOM
  SHARKS SCHEDULE
  SHARKS ROSTER
  DEPTH CHARTS
  INJURY REPORT
  SHARKIVES
  HOSER of the WEEK
  TICKET EXCHANGE
  LINKS
  HOME
 SITE INFORMATION
  Contact Us
  Meet the Staff
  Join the Team
  Advertise
  Our Sponsors

Sharks in the Playoffs? April fool!
Too soft for the playoffs?
4/4/06 - By Kem Smyth

The San Jose Sharks are making some noise in the Western Conference playoff race, but it sounds like "We're keeping some cold ones for you in Cabo." Toss away those few points earned from overtime losses (like the one they salvaged last Saturday) and you see a team with a 9-8 record since the Olympic break. At this rate, Sharkie will be doing kid's parties in Los Altos a lot sooner than anybody thought in September.

March and April hockey used to be kind of ugly, and in spite of the new rules opening up the ice and all that stuff, that fact stays the same. It's a grind, and your grinders need to be up to it. When the Sharks are really clicking they are an absolutely pretty team to watch, but this is not a pretty time.

In spite of the Joe Thornton trade, maybe because of it, the Sharks are still a soft team and get bounced around by a physical opponent. This is not a knock on Joe, it's a knock on the team. They should've realized by now that they won't score five ESPN-highlight goals every night, somebody has got to muck it up.

They did themselves good by picking up Ville Niemenan in what was essentially a trade for Niko Dimitrakos, and by getting a healthy Scott Parker back into the line-up. But the third and fourth lines still get dominated at wrong times. Take for example Ian Laperriere, good old yappy Lappy from the Kings, scoring two goals for the Avalanche against Mark Smith's line in a game the Sharks eventually won.

The Sharks weren't that lucky this weekend against the Phoenix Coyotes, and should count themselves damn lucky to get a point out of four for what amounts to one good period out of six plus. While they showed inspiration, or is it shame, in coming back from being behind 3-0 in the third period last Saturday to tie the game and send it into overtime, there's no particular reason to think they'll carry that fire forward

The Coyotes took both games by blocking shots, cycling pucks, and generally outworking the home team. Funny thing is that used to be the way the Sharks won games against much better teams. Through the coaching eras of Kevin Constantine and Darryl Sutter the Sharks were a grinder team, with very little beauty in their springtime pushes to make the playoffs. Can Ron Wilson's team remember how to play that way?

Elsewhere:

then again after all this rain, Cabo sounds pretty sweet.

The Los Angeles Kings fired coach Andy Murray as his team basically quit. Too bad, Murray made the best Popeye the Sailor face while grimacing at referees and did about as well as anyone could with the lineup given him.

The Boston Bruins once again proved that the accountability stops one office below the responsibility in firing General Manager Mike O'Connell doing what Harry Sinden wanted.

Referee Chris Rooney- easily confused with Mr. Rooney the principal in "Ferris Buehler's Day Off"? He should have taken one himself last Saturday as he seemed to take the Sharks out of the game in the second period and then try to make it up with penalties against Phoenix in the third. Anybody in NHL management in Toronto catching all this??

This team is loaded with talented youth, not just prospects folks but young guys with exceptional skills. Milan Michalek, Steve Bernier, Christian Ehrhoff, Josh Gorges, Matt Carle to name a few all seem to have the potential to be above average NHL players.

The Sharks are currently playing with a pair of top lines that are both entertaining and exciting. And this next fact should scare every G.M. in the league; not a single Shark has reached his 30th birthday.

The team released and opted not to sign several veteran players a season ago. The loss of veteran leadership has been felt. But these veterans were at the end of their NHL rope and minimal in overall talent to boot. The team has definitely moved up in the overall natural ability department with experience being the only missing ingredient to make this a first class Stanley Cup Soufflé.

Now when you have some free time go log onto the internet and search for a list of unrestricted free agent for 2006-2007. The list is even more enticing than the scroll that was available prior to this current season. And if the whispers about the league are to be believed the Sharks will be in full hunting mode. And if the Sharks are hunting then it will be for veterans that can come in and provide the leadership, experience and intangibles that the young guys currently simply do not have at this point in this youthful teams present makeup. If this comes to pass then everyone's complaints and hopes and dreams will all be answered.

It looks like it may take a season longer than we had hoped for but in the end it looks like we will have a team of solid and deep foundation that plays a wide open style that will both entertain and succeed in the win column.

So irony of irony folks is that the losing streak may have been the impetus that brought in the key piece to what could be a hockey work of art when all is said and done. Let's all try to be patient and take deep breathes as this year's version continues to grow and mature in their attempt to garner the post-season, but more importantly as they evolve into perennial Stanley Cup contenders.


Contact Ken at Kenin210@eudoramail.com



What did you think of this article? Post your comments on the Feeder Forums

 

Privacy Statement   |   Contact Us   |   Advertise
Copyright 2006 TheFeeder.com. All rights reserved.
This website is an unofficial and independently operated source of news
and information not affiliated with any team, or league.