Up-and-down campaign so far not such a
10/11/09 - By Paul Krill
Could this be the breakthrough season for the Sharks? It's already a
breakthrough season for me, personally, because I got my son to go to a game
with me when he hadn't had much interest in going to games before. A
breakthrough for the Sharks, of course, would be defined as at least an
extended stay in the playoffs, hopefully concluding with a Stanley Cup
championship. And we have to wait six, count them, six months to begin to find
out, because that's how long it is until the playoffs.
So far, it's
been ups and downs, with the Sharks winning three and looking not-so-hot in two
losses. The three wins, though, have all been very satisfying, even if it took
the Sharks until the second period to get things going in the home games
against Columbus and Minnesota.
The most satisfying win was the 4-2
win against Minnesota Saturday because the goaltending kept the Sharks in the
game. I was beginning to think the Sharks were going to need Dany Heatley hat
tricks every night because of suspect goaltending. Saturday's win makes me feel
better about the Sharks' situation in goal.
Speaking of Heatley, his
performance in the home opener reminded me of why I enjoy the entertainment of
Sharks hockey. Watching the Sharks blanked through the first period, I'd
forgotten what the excitement was all about. But it doesn't get much more
entertaining than a guy in his first home game for the Sharks scoring a hat
trick on a penalty shot.
When we look at this roster, we see what kind of looks
like a super-team in some respects. Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Dan Boyle
and Heatley all on the same team? How did we get lucky enough for that to
happen? Every one of these guys might find himself on the Canadian Olympic
team, the toughest team to make in the world.
On paper, when we look
at the top end of the roster, we have to figure the Sharks should be a
contender for the Cup. But the Sharks have been contenders before, to no avail.
The 3-2 record so far might seem a little disconcerting but it's
actually not so bad because we've all seen how much it means to blow away the
rest of the league in the fall and peak too early: You get the consolation
prize - the President's Trophy, rather than Stanley's cup.
Sharks can't win every game, it's better that they lose a few now instead of
running out of gas in the spring when it really counts.
Only 77 games
or so to go until the important games begin.
Contact Paul at
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