| The next level
Will Campbell get SJ over the hump?
3/2/08 - By Steve Flores
The Brian Campbell era as a
San Joe Shark began on Wednesday. The stat sheet will show that he had an
assist and led the team in ice team. As usual the stats don't tell the whole
story. Upon arriving in snowy Columbus, Ohio at midnight Campbell got some form
of sleep and then went and met his teammates and coaches. In his first game as
a Shark "Soupy" as he is known exhibited great skating ability, levied a few
volatile checks and controlled the pace for a team that sorely needs a
decision-maker on the ice.
"He's easily as fluid a skater on defense
that I've ever played with" said Craig Rivet.
Rivet was not the only
Shark impressed with the team's newest acquisition.
"He adds just a
whole other dimension as far as the up-tempo game. He gets the offense going in
a hurry with scary speed" according to defenseman Douglas Murray.
Positive word are to be expected when a new teammate arrives in Dodge but these
sentiments ring to mark to anyone who watched Wednesday nights 4-2 win over the
The team looked jacked up for a change. There was some
jump in the step and the fire was there - at least for this game.
knows the whys and wherefores as to the reasons for the team's solid effort. I
am sure it wasn't all about Campbell. However the way he steers and guides on
the ice sure looked like it was making an early impact.
The guy is
known as the infamous 'offensive-defenseman' and he definitely has the skill on
the O side. With him in the driver seat the team finally has a legitimate
number one defenseman and a guy that will power the often 'powerless' play.
Campbell is unlike any player the Sharks have ever had. The funny
thing about his 'man advantage' abilities is that he does not possess a
lightning bolt of a shot from the point. His shot is solid yet not
overpowering. His gifts lay in all of the other facets of his game. Despite his
label as an 'offensive defenseman' he is a solid guy in his own zone. He is
heady and exhibits a certain control on the ice that the Sharks have sorely
lacked all season. He plays with the confidence to take charge of the play.
He has the credentials (2-time All-Star) to back it up
and his skating ability is a wonderful thing to watch. I am not by any means
declaring Campbell the 'Messiah' I am simply impressed by the fact that the guy
has a certain bravado that I think all great teams need in some way, shape or
The team gave up Steve Bernier and their number one pick in the
upcoming entry draft. This seems to bother some fans of the team. My question
is why? Why does bringing in a player with superior skills ever bother a fan?
He is a proven commodity. If it is the lack of a contract beyond this season
then have some faith. G.M. Doug Wilson has close ties to Campbell (both former
Ottawa 67's players) and has shown the ability in the past to reel in the big
fish with a solid contract offer.
The Sharks have built their team
almost entirely through the draft. The simple fact of life is that at a certain
point a team should peak with their home-grown players. The Sharks are on the
precipice of something big - fans and team hope! When a team gets close to that
pinnacle it is not necessarily time to keep looking towards the future. A
successful team will always reach a point where the future is now. The Sharks
are in that era folks. So here is to Brian Campbell, to Doug Wilson and the
Sharks management and to all of its players and fans. The team has made its
move, now hopefully the pieces will all fall into place as they attempt to
bring home Lord Stanley's Cup.
|What did you think of
this article? Post your comments on the