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Deja Vu
Sound familiar?
4/30/07 - By Steve Flores

Déjà vu. You know the French word for experiencing something that you're sure has already happened. The 2nd round of the NHL playoffs has a Déjà vu like feel to it as the San Jose Sharks continue to play as they have the past several playoffs - quick start and then fall into a defensive shell that literally dares the opponent to pelt them with shot after shot. This style of play is many things and all of those things are bad.

I don't want to hear anybody tell me it's a sound game plan.

Yes, the Sharks are playing better team defense. But playing defense for 50 of 60 minutes in a game is Icy suicide and especially dicey at the NHL level. It's arrogant and it's stupid.

The Sharks came onto the ice for game three like the proverbial dervish and erupted with offensive barrages and waves of attack that had the Detroit Red Wings reeling. Two goals later the Sharks decided it was time to drop back and play it safe.

PLAY IT SAFE?!!!??

The safe game plan cost them a sweep in Detroit and they came home tied 1-1.

Many will say that 1-1 isn't bad and you would be right unless, of course, you compare it to the possibility that they could have come home 2-0. Then yeah in my world the 1-1 is a bit disappointing.

The team's pattern of pulling back has been going on for years now. I still have no definitive proof as to whether it is a by design coaching decision or if it is just the players deciding that it is a better on ice game plan to pull back and pretend that they are the pre-strike Devils of New Jersey. Either way it leads to failure and this team is too good to allow itself to lose because of their own lack of proper execution.

The Sharks are younger, bigger, stronger and faster than every team in the NHL. Ask any GM and they will concede most if not all of that statement. The Sharks have stars in Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Jonathan Cheechoo, Evgeni Nabokov etc, etc, etc. Scott Hannan marks snipers every night in addition to managing his regular defensive duties. Ask Alex Ovechkin if Hannan is or isn't world class on the blue-line. Believe me he knows all too well. The Sharks play all aspects of the game and attack is one of those aspects at which they excel. It's ok to keep playing in the wings zone guys. Make a cameo now and then. Turn up the volume!!

The Sharks can roll 4 lines with different strengths. The penalty kill line with Mike Grier and Curtis Brown may well be the only kill-line in the history of the league that I have EVER enjoyed watching! Those two guys are beasts on the kill.

This team - the real team is primed and ready to do this. Someone just needs to remind them of who they are and how they should be playing!

This team has it all and needs to show it all. Here's hoping that they wake up from their dream before its Deja vu all over again.


Contact Steve at stevybo@yahoo.com




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