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New sweaters, same team
Same Sharks
10/28/07 - By Ken Smyth

So what were we thinking would happen in October? Did anything significant happen over the summer? General Manager Doug Wilson gives his coach Ron Wilson a take-home exam after the Sharks did their customary second round exit from the playoffs, and then re-signs the core of the team, minus Scott Hannan. Vesa Toskala and Mark "skates like the Liberty" Bell were shipped off for draft picks.

Not much change. Memo to Doug Wilson is that management thinks this team is good enough to win. Ron's gotten the word- his crazy line juggling is up to a February pace. But the team's start this year is pretty much where they left off. Decent on the road and a mystery at home.

All the signs say, ""This is Sharks' Territory". Funny how they choose to mark it, there's a decided smell around the HP Pavilion. Opening Night was supposed to be lights out on the Boston Bruins instead of the Arena crowd. But as we saw all last season- the Sharks can lose interest in an opponent sometimes and find themselves two or three goals down in the third period to a weaker but hungry team that smells a victory. The Red Wings came back to town then and served up a replay of the second round of the playoffs. It took the good old Nashville (till they get a better offer) Predators to give the SJ home fans a victory to finish off the home stand. Three games, six goals scored, one win. Not a good way to sell tickets.

No home ice advantage and lackluster play were two of the most obvious problems last season and Ron Wilson must know he's got to shake this team out of it or become the next Bay Area coach to be fired (though the 49ers Mike Nolan is still the odds-on favorite). I mentioned that Wilson is shaking up the lines, but maybe crazy is too harsh of a word. The defense is actually looking pretty good with Marc-Edouard Vlasic taking up a lot of the Scott Hannan minutes. But that's not where the problem of averaging two goals a game at home

The last two games have seen Marcel Goc and Curtis Brown in the press box as healthy scratches. I like seeing Roenick on the line with Joe Thornton. Even though JR's skating sometimes looks like the ice is tilted up all the time he's still not afraid to hold a position and his shots (verbal included) are as quick and accurate as ever. Jonathan Cheechoo shouldn't wonder why he's sitting on the bench more, he should wonder why it took this long.

And the winning ticket on the first-coach-axed/when pool was- Bob Hartley of Atlanta in October. Big surprise to all you, okay, all -US- smarties out there that picked a December exit for Mike Keenan or Ron Wilson. I just hope that if Hartley ends up in San Jose he brings Suzanne Pleshette along.

Think that Reebok stuck the Sharks with some ugly looks? Browse the internet sports shops and look at what some other teams got. San Jose got a generic make over but what's with city names being a tagged on shirt all of a sudden.

More Roenick- It's an open question as to whether he can play in sixty or more games this season, but he can still play the game on the ice and in front of the microphone. Such an opportunity in this town- big contrast to Barry B. who generated press by not talking to them much

Mike Ricci- he's in the building now, get your binox and you'll see him in the skybox above 219 sitting with DW and the scouts. Good to see him come out and drop the puck against Detroit. But Mike- ask Doug Wilson where to get the good threads, that suit looked like it came from the Repentant Defendant collection at Men's Warehouse.

Vesa Toskala- good news, you got traded to a town where you can be no.1/bad news you went to Toronto where every player eventually gets treated like no. 2 before they're flushed away.

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