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Don't push the panic button…yet
Saturday's broad daylight nightmare at home is followed by Sunday's dominance in Orange County
10/27/14 - By Paul Krill -

After Saturday's multi-faceted flop - the Sharks laid an egg against the lowly Sabres and failed to sell out on a wonderful Saturday afternoon - panic buttons were readied. Internet discussions again asked why Todd McLellan and Doug Wilson were still employed by the Sharks. Musings on who the new coach would be ensued. And the empty seats showed that the Sharks are indeed going to have to finally pay a price for failing in the playoffs year after year after year; a "What's the use?" attitude looks to have set in, to some degree.

It was getting so ugly some even anticipated the Sharks' participation in the NHL Draft Lottery at the end of the season, held for teams that miss the playoffs. And who can blame fans for panicking, with the Sharks looking awful Saturday instead of capitalizing on what should have been an easy opportunity to end what was a three-game losing streak that instead grew to four games?

But then, the Sharks go to Anaheim Sunday to play the top-ranked Ducks and come out scoring, saving and swinging - a 4-0 lead, fights featuring Joe Pavelski (huh?) and Mirko Mueller, among others. The Sharks hang a loss on the Ducks in their own building; it's he shot in the arm the Sharks should have given themselves at home on Saturday but instead, they get the job done on Sunday.

(Incidentally I loved all the "Let's go Sharks!" chants heard from the stands on TV. The Ducks have not been much of a draw locally, always leaving plenty of tickets for Sharks fans who want to make the trek to Orange County. The Ducks are the second team in what is barely a one-team southern California market.)

We just never seem to know what we're going to get from this Sharks team: Spoiling the Kings' banner-raising game, stomping on the Ducks in Anaheim or embarrassing themselves at home against Buffalo. Of course, we're not going to win every night. But some semblance of consistency, on the winning side, would make this season more bearable for Sharks fans. We're still sore from last year's playoff exit, remember. Winning - particularly in April through June - will be the cure for that. It's going to be a long ride from now until springtime.

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