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Fear the Reaper
No more room for error
4/20/09 - By Ken Smyth -

What is going on here? The Sharks are down 0-2 and their President's Trophy looks a bit tarnished. Of course we're all pissed. Two losses in close games would be hard enough to take, these were two games where the Sharks looked totally outclassed, and against those sucky Ducks from Anaheim. The reaper is ready for a kill Thursday night!

What's wrong? Where to begin? The Sharks' figured to have an advantage over the Ducks on power plays. Anaheim not only takes a lot of penalties, they take pride in them. Chris Pronger is the greatest practitioner of cross-checking since Pontius Pilate and his victims are often out of the lineup longer than three days. But the Sharks are 0-12 on power plays and look confused by the 1-3 trap Anaheim is using at the blueline.

I like Dan Boyle's play a lot, but other Sharks'defensemen are coughing up pucks in their own zone or the neutral zone. More giveaways than a Saturday at Costco, and just as ugly. I'm not sure if Evgeni Nabokov is really being outplayed by Jonas Hiller in goal or that the Sharks' are just playing to Hiller's strengths as a goaltender. Jonathan Cheechoo made Hiller look silly on a top-shelf shot but mostly the Sharks have been shooting low on him.

Now is the time coach Todd McLellan can show why he has the job. I liked seeing NY Rangers coach John Tortorella show some anger after his teams' loss Monday night, McLellan needs to do a little screaming too.

He showed some smarts in putting Joe Thornton on a line with Jeremy Roenick and Cheechoo, breaking up the Ducks' checking system for a while. Can he (and Trent Yawney) also bust up that stupid penalty-kill trap?

After dealing with some mindlessness at work, the Sharks don't piss me off as much. Calgary and Washington, both down 0-2, won tonight, too. The Sharks played Anaheim four times in the last three weeks; the Anaheim game plan isn't a major secret to them.

They have the talent; the snark and bile we spew on the forum boards would be directed elsewhere if we thought the players were inferior. Do they have the whatever-whatever to get up and take two in Anaheim or will they just skate their shifts two nights and pack up for the summer?? We'll see, but for Tuesday--more cowbell!!

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