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Sharks: Predictable as an Earthquake
Hot this week, cold last week. Next week? Who knows?
1/25/10 - By Paul Krill -

After I formally gave up on the Sharks during their recent six-game losing streak, they have since won four games in a row, canceling out most of that dismal six-game stretch that had us old timers reminiscing about 1992-1993, when the Sharks lost 17 games in a row.

Last I checked, the Sharks were slotted for the eighth playoff spot. Yay! From first the last two years to eighth this year in their downwardly mobile spiral. Sharks fans this year certainly are getting a dose of reality that teams that win big one year can slip badly the next year. (Just ask Devils fans, who are getting a far bigger dose of that reality this year.)

We all know finishing great in the regular season can amount to nothing in the playoffs. For reference, see: Spring 2009. But if we want to get to the post-season dance, the Sharks are going to have to finish eighth or better and that right now is no certainty. I fear the big All Star break could leave the Sharks cold and losing again, meaning they'll have another big ditch to climb out of.

We've seen players like Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau look flat for stretches only to come back and remind us why they make the big bucks. We've seen Ryane Clowe become a leader, if not the leader, of the team. And "rookie" Logan Couture has 22 goals at last check. Who'd have thought it?

Right now, the Sharks are predictable as the next big earthquake. No one knows when the next big quake will come and none of us really knows how the Sharks will fare on any given night. It's not a recipe that has us dreaming fondly of a Stanley Cup parade, though. More likely, we hope we can get our usual round or two of the playoffs and try again next year.

Anyway, it should be fun to watch where exactly the Sharks finish. I wouldn't place my bets on any slot at this particular time. They could finish anywhere from 10th to 2nd. Who knows?

It should be a fun ride for the next two months.

Penalty Shots…

I can't say I recall Doug Wilson's playing career all that much outside of his two years with the Sharks. But it seems unlikely he was the kind of guy who played la devastating physical game like a Chris Pronger. Having stood in the same room with Wilson a couple times, I know he doesn't physically look like a one-man wrecking crew, like Al Iafrate (that guy looked like he could get a job knocking down houses with his bare hands). But as a GM, Wilson is leveling opponents in a manner similar to Scott Stevens.

First, he throws a restricted free agent deal at Niklas Hjalmarsson of the Blackhawks, further fouling up Chicago's already messy salary cap situation. And recently, he took Kyle Wellwood off the waiver wire after Saint Louis went through all that trouble to scout and sign him on his way back from Russia. Wilson certainly is taking no prisoners when it comes to the GM post.


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