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Ups and downs
Sharks' night-and-day play on road-vs-home is real mood-changer
1/2/08 - By Paul Krill

What a difference a week makes. On Saturday, December 22, I came home disgusted with the Sharks' performance, in which the team again lost to Anaheim at home. But on Saturday, December 29, I kept replaying Milan Michalek's game-winning goal from the night before, and then watched the Sharks take a lead, lose it, regain it and win against Nashville.

It's no secret the Sharks are struggling at home, particularly against teams in the same division. This is compounded because the miserable, soon-to-be-discarded schedule format has the Sharks playing these divisional teams over and over and over again in San Jose.

So we are left with a Sharks team that stomps all over teams like Vancouver and Nashville but can't beat the divisional teams at the Tank.

It's not normal for a team to be a powerhouse on the road and weak at home, but it is what it is. With the new year upon us, maybe the Sharks can start to win regularly in the big building on Santa Clara Street. Whether they can beat Detroit in the playoffs is something that we'll have to wait many months to find out.

After attending the December 22 game, I thought it might not be a bad idea to send Devon Setoguchi to Worcester, Mass. to play a spell with the Sharks' farm team. A spot earned on the Sharks has to be re-earned nightly, especially by the new guys. As we know, Setoguchi indeed was sent down a few days after Christmas. When he comes back is up to him and how he performs in the AHL, I guess.

Will other Sharks need a wakeup call like this? It's not my call, but somebody has to play defense and offense and sending people down or trading them only works if there are enough people left to carry the load afterward.

Oh well, now I have to call the Stanley's restaurant at the Sharks' practice facility to see if they will have the Sharks-Wild game on today since it won't be broadcast locally without a subscription to NHL Center Ice. So I've gone from being disgusted with the Sharks to being ready to drive five miles to watch them on TV.

What a difference a week makes.

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