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Optimism or realism?
Are these the real Sharks?
2/22/08 - By Steve Flores

The San Jose Sharks have been one the best road teams in the NHL in 2007-08. Despite the fact that I think their offense is poor and that they haven't played at a level that comes anywhere close to Stanley Cup caliber, fans of the team continue to argue that I shouldn't panic.

My response: I'm not panicking. I don't panic at sports. I watch and lay my opinions down based on what I see. What I see is a team currently in a downward spiral that has now lost 5 in a row and all three that has begun their longest and toughest road trip of the season.

The first three games have seen the Sharks tally a big 5 goals! Yessiree 5 goals folks. Great offensive prowess!

The NHL is back to its slug-like, snails pace action where the forwards are required to ensure that they don't forget about helping out on the D-end of the game. That's all well and good. I am not gonna argue hockey strategy - what I will do is reiterate that it's boring and that the Sharks are now on the cusp of falling out of the top eight in the Western Conference while also being as exciting as ice melting.

I have received emails ripping me for being 'Mr. Negative' or always looking at things from the 'wrong' perspective. One guy stated 'you have no clue about hockey' that the Sharks are just fine and that I need to "learn to appreciate the game a little better". Maybe these folks are right. Maybe I should just appreciate the fact that there is hockey played in San Jose and that it is a privilege to give them my $4k every year.

Nawwwww I don't think so.

I invest my time and my money in the team and if I choose to look at it 'realistically' and see that the team has one of the league's poorest offenses and that now they have to attempt to cling to one of the final playoff spots rather than attempt win the Pacific Division.

With 22 games left they have not shown the fire all season that they exhibited plenty a season ago.

This team is attempting to play a defensive style of hockey at the expense of its offense. In the long run maybe it will work, but as of today it has seen fit to move them to the sixth spot in the Western Conference ( a mere 2 points ahead of Vancouver in the eighth spot - with Phoenix in ninth position only four points back of the Sharks).

To argue that they are competitive doesn't cut it anymore - all of the teams in the league are competitive. A loss is a loss, be it by 1 goal or 4. Optimism is fine but realism may be well, dare I say, more realistic!

This team needs an injection of some kind and it needs it quick or else a lot of ever optimistic Sharks fans will be talking up 2008-2009 faster than I can be called some new creative adjectives!

Contact Steve at

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