| Deja vu again
Two games played. Two games lost
|4/20/09 - By Steve Flores -
Unfortunately this year's version of the San Jose
Sharks is looking more and more like every other year's version. The one big
exception is that this team is likely bowing out in the very first round of the
post season. Normally the Sharks tantalize their fans enough to get them into
the second round. This season the Sharks earned the NHL's best regular season
record by virtue of flying out of the gate like 23 men on a mission (those of
you who attend the game's can attest to the irony of that much used HP Pavilion
I am not going to sit here and break down, in tiny
detail, which players are performing poorly or making mistakes etc. Players are
human and stuff happens. I don't want to underplay the importance of player's
mistakes, or to minimize any concept that players must give 100% at all times.
This goes without saying. But, as far as I am concerned the Sharks are down 2
games to none because their power play has gone the way of the Dodo.
The Sharks levied PP goals in like 11 of their last 12 or 13 regular season
games. The team wasn't scoring many even-strength tallies but the PP was
definitely on track.
In two games against the Anaheim Ducks they are
zero for twelve. Despite the efforts of the Ducks, despite lapses that the
Sharks may have had, despite the likelihood of injuries that some key Sharks
may obviously have the one fact remains; this team could be up two games to
none if they had scored on three or four of their power plays!
Ducks deserve credit in their efforts. They have shutdown the Sharks in
virtually all aspects of their offensive game. The Ducks are working hard on
both ends. They are being well coached by Randy Carlyle and Jonas Hiller has
been stellar between the pipes. But, they have not played AMAZING, FANTASTIC,
INCREDIBLE hockey. They have played very, very well. But a great team would be
able to find a way to beat them. Great team's win Stanley Cup championships.
The Sharks played like a great team early in this NHL season. Injuries
to their players along with adjustments by opponents led to a lesser degree of
success in the season's latter portions. But, make no bones the Sharks were
thought of (once again) as an elite side. However their play through the first
two playoff games has been anything but elite.
Let us throw all of the rhetoric, analysis and
scrutinizing aside. A team with the ability to win the whole enchilada would
find a way to dispatch an eighth-seeded team. The Shark's have the look of the
wounded and hunted deer in their eyes. We have seen both this look and the
currently exhibited body language in the past.
This team looks to be
on its way to post-season golf before the end of the week.
No one can
turn the tide but the players themselves. Not Head man Todd McLellan and not
his coaching staff. No speech from GM Doug Wilson and no pep talk phone-calls
from mommy or daddy are going to change this series. The Ducks are standing
like men and they are making these Sharks look more like guppies or mismatched
boys than NHL caliber players. The next two games (in Anaheim ) are must wins
for the Sharks.
Anything less than total victory in Anaheim will
ensure that the Sharks continue to hold on to the much deserved mantle of "King
Choker's of the NHL".
Contact Steve at email@example.com
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