Sharks taking big steps backward so far
|10/20/10 - By Paul Krill -
Right now, Sharks fans must feel like fans of the
2008 Tom Brady-less New England Patriots, when the Patriots played the Miami
Dolphins early in the season. Because Patriots fans that day got to see
something they hadnt seen much of in quite a while: Losing big at home.
(The Dolphins, who went 1-15 the previous year, demolished the Patriots,
38-13.) Sharks fans have watched our team get whipped in San Jose by
nondescript teams from questionable hockey markets (Carolina, Atlanta) in games
we probably figured to be phone-in games for our high-powered Sharks.
But it hasnt worked out that way.
Pucks that wont go in and
numerous defensive breakdowns have had Sharks fans witnessing celebrations by
the visiting teams on a San Jose ice surface where the Sharks had, at long
last, become dominant in recent seasons. Weve already seen shorthanded
goals given up in both home games. And games have been decided with plenty of
time left on the clock; fans have streamed toward the exits with the game still
in progress. This is something we used to see a lot of in the past, but not
recently. Its certainly not what we had in mind for this promising
Its apparent, however, that putting three
superstars (Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley, Patrick Marleau) and Joe Pavelski on
the ice is not going to be enough for the Sharks to contend this season. They
will have to bury chances and play some defense.
If things dont
start getting better by, say, a month from now, the Sharks are going to have to
trade for some defensive help. And they will have to pay big, probably trading
a couple of young forwards. With the aforementioned four players probably
untouchable, the following players may not want to close on any Bay Area
mortgages in the next month: Ryane Clowe, Devon Setoguchi, Torrey Mitchell,
Logan Couture. They all could become trade bait if the Sharks start shifting to
The Sharks next home game, on October 27,
features the similarly plagued New Jersey Devils in a matchup that could be
called The Battle of Two Teams Supposed to Contend for the Stanley Cup But That
Instead Have Stunk So Far.
Yes its very early in the season, but if the
hole gets deeper and deeper, Sharks fans could find themselves in the position
of hoping the team can scrape into the playoffs with one of the bottom spots,
with no home ice advantage.
Weve seen the team win a lot in
recent years while still failing to even get to the Stanley Cup Finals. It
would be a shame if last seasons Western Conference Finals dismissal
turned out to be as good as it gets for this Sharks team.
time for the Sharks to get their act together, or some familiar Sharks faces
could find themselves suiting up for other teams.
Contact Paul at
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