| Nothing wrong
With a quarter plus of the season gone, the San
Jose Sharks' are 6-6 (or 6-5-1 if we break out shootouts) against 2014 playoff
teams but 6-8 against non-playoff teams. Being bipolar means that you are
really up part of the time, (uhh, so I'm told) but there's not a lot of happy
here. The break in the announced sellout streak is easy to spot with rows of
seats empty over the last few home games.
The stats tell another
bipolar story. Against good teams they have 36 goals scored versus 35 against,
again dropping the shootout add-in. Playing non-playoff teams they have 30
goals for, 31 against. That works out to about a 0.7 goals scored per game drop
when they play against a non-playoff team (3.00 vs 2.31). Goals against go up
against better opponents, but that's not something that should surprise anyone.
What this says is that the Sharks play measurably better against the better
teams, and in the process are dropping a lot of standings points when they
snooze and lose to cupcakes.
Yogi Berra was quoted as saying that
baseball was ninety percent mental, the other half physical. That's about
describes the Sharks.. The players are talented, they can play even up with the
best in the NHL, and the coaching staff more than adequate. The fact that this
under-performing attitude goes on through multiple coaches says turning this
team around is up to the players. Last night they faced another playoff team
from last season that also lost an opening round seven-game series to a team
that went to the Stanley Cup Finals. You could have flipped a coin to figure
out which Sharks' andFlyers' teams would show up.
The Flyers are
famous for shaking up the management and roster anytime adversity hits, the
opposite of the Sharks, but they are also an under-performing team likely to
miss the playoffs. Sharks Doug Wilson stated over the summer that the team
needed to take a step back before moving forward, a statement that get a Philly
executive torn to pieces by the fans, and so far half Doug's wish is granted.
Owner Hasso Plattner's recent release of full confidence platitudes
tells us he's content for now to wait things out with Doug. Too bad, at least
in Philadelphia the churn gets fans talking. The Sharks would rather their fans
be more behaved, as the dismissal of Drew Remenda reminded us.
Some east coast writers are speculating that either
the Sharks or Flyers will go after former Penguins' coach Dan Bylsma.
Circumstances say he'd be an option for the Sharks, but how much better would
he be than Todd McLellan? Since his taking over the Pens in February 2009 and
leading them to a Stanley Cup that year, his record is not materially better
than McLellan's despite having Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin most of the time
on those Penguins teams.
Both have a similar coaching style. If Bylsma
is the answer then the wrong question is being asked.
tremendous collapse in the standings, or Hasso getting a call from his numbers
people that there are not enough eleven-dollar-plus change souvenir-cup beers
being sold, not much will change. It looks like the cold leftovers of last
season continue until the next holiday. Humbug. OK, officer I'm moving.
Contact Ken at at email@example.com
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