| It had to end sooner or
Musings on the Sharks' 8-game winning streak
and other things
Well, we knew the Sharks were not going to win
every game for the rest of the year. They were on an eight-game winning streak
and had not lost in weeks. But they had to lose eventually. Unfortunately, it
had to happen against the loathsome Dallas Stars this past Saturday night.
But this Sharks team looks to be doing the opposite of what the
2008-09 President's Trophy-winning team did. Instead of starting out great and
getting worse as the season wore on, this year's team started out sputtering
and appears to be getting better and better. Let's hope they don't peak too
early. Peaking around mid-June would be nice.
The Sharks this season
have made some great strides: Taking three of four from the even-more-loathsome
Detroit Red Wings, shootout victories, five- and now eight-game winning
streaks. Still, the Western Conference is so tight that the Sharks just can't
let the foot off the gas. They'll need to keep up the good work or,
conceivably, they still could find themselves on the outside looking in at
playoff time, although that scenario doesn't appear too likely at this
While it seems like we just put our Christmas trees away
yesterday, we're now only about five weeks or so till the playoffs begin. It
doesn't matter who the Sharks face in the post-season, though, since at this
point in time they are capable of beating anybody. They won't need another team
to knock off a potentially troublesome opponent since the Sharks can do that
* Can't help but wonder if there is an
unfortunate connection between the injury to Sharks' goalie-in-waiting Alex
Stalock and the four-year extension just given to current starter Antti Niemi.
While Niemi has been playing great, I hope this contract extension doesn't
signal that Stalock is in for a long, long recovery from his recent leg injury.
* Apparently, shootout victories are subtracted from win totals when
it comes to tie-breakers. Hopefully, the Sharks won't need to rely on any
tie-breakers for playoff positioning.
* The Sharks' good fortunes began with a post-All Star
Weekend comeback against Phoenix. The Sharks looked so bad early in that
February 1 game but ended up winning on Patrick Marleau's shorthanded goal, a
couple hours after he was honored for his 1,000th game. That's what NHL
entertainment is all about.
* Been looking at some YouTube videos of
nonexistent crowds at Atlanta Thrashers and Phoenix Coyotes games. Actual
attendance looked much less than the 50-percent-or-so capacity official
numbers. Now both teams, despite playing in major US markets, could be on their
way to places such as Winnipeg and Quebec City. The NHL's expansion magic
weaved in San Jose, with years and years of sellouts, just hasn't happened in
many other newer NHL cities.
* Had a dream the other night that the
Sharks made it to the Stanley Cup Finals. But I woke up disappointed to realize
it was all just a dream. At least for now.
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