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Paging Hasso Plattner
Gut-wrenching, historic collapse sets up Sharks soap opera
5/2/14 - By Paul Krill -

So where do I begin? The Sharks have taken their tradition for playoff choking to a whole new depth, making their loyal fans anxious, embarrassed and depressed. I thought Sharks hockey was supposed to be fun?

Now we're all speculating - which heads will roll? GM Doug Wilson? Coach Todd McLellan? Will players with no-trade clauses be asked to waive them shortly? One voice that would be nice to hear from is Sharks owner Hasso Plattner. What does he have to say about this? He is, after all, where the buck stops. We just don't hear much, if anything, from him.

Does he fire everyone and start all over? Does he let Doug Wilson continue to maintain the course? After all, the Boston Bruins lost a series in 2010 after going up three games to none and then won the Stanley Cup a year later. (Somehow, I'm not optimistic that this will happen for the Sharks next year.)

FWIW, I think the only Sharks that should be exempt from any trade consideration are Tomas Hertl and Alex Stalock. These young Sharks have performed admirably this year and really haven't been around long enough to be tainted with the Sharks' choking reputation.

As far as Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau - all of them should not be looking for any new homes in the South Bay right now. All of them should expect to have their job security with the Sharks questioned. Goalie Antti Niemi is likely as good as gone. He's just not what the Sharks need when it comes to goaltending.

For me, I thought the Sharks were in trouble in the third period of the first game, when the team, up 5-0, somehow let in three goals in 14 minutes. That's the amount of goals the team should allow in two games. Gradually, the Kings took control of the series and I was pretty scared when instead of clinching in Game 5, the Sharks got dominated and shut out - at home.

I was so depressed Thursday evening I decided to put all my Sharks t shirts - about 14 of them - in my garage because I don't really want to advertise my association with this team anytime soon. Maybe the wounds will heal over time; lamenting with other Sharks fans on Facebook after the game was very therapeutic for me. Misery loves company. (Of course these kinds of discussions always bring out the few folks who think anyone who criticizes their own team is not a real fan. What a bunch of nonsense. This organization needs to hear from its customers when it is failing.)

We'll move ahead now, knowing the Sharks are the third-best NHL hockey team in California out of three teams and have made history in choking like this. Can't help but wonder how many Stanley Cup Finals appearances the Sharks would have had already if they were situated in the weaker Eastern Conference. But that's all useless speculation.

Now, we'll sit back and see what happens next for the Sharks. Which players will be gone for good? And more importantly for the Sharks, which fans have had enough and will also be gone for good?

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