| The Good and the
Thursday's highs and lows for the
|10/13/17 - By Paul Krill -
The Sharks on Thursday evening became the last team
in the league to tally a point in the standings this season, with a 3-2 win
over the Sabres at home. Granted, they had only played two games prior to that.
But what was alarming about those two games was they were home games against
two teams that didn't make the playoffs last season and the Sharks couldn't
muster a lead against either of them. In Thursday's win, the Sharks never
Overall, there was good and there was bad to be observed
during the entire evening. First, the bad:
* Joe Thornton, who missed
on an empty net chance at the end of the game, was kept off the scoreboard
again. He has one point in three games.
* Joe Pavelski also was kept
off the scoreboard. He, too, has one point in three games and missed the empty
* Almost the same deal with Brent Burns: no points Thursday, one
point in three games.
* The crowds at Sharks games aren't what they
used to be. The days of automatic sellouts are over, with the novelty of San
Jose hosting a major league sports team finally having worn off after 20+
years. It seems like there are growing numbers of seats filled by fans of the
other team. And lots of people left the game while it was still close. Repeat:
the game's outcome was very much in question and people went home, anyway.
Also, the dreaded "Wave," which used to never happen at Sharks games, is now a
regular occurrence. (To me, you get a wave going because the game itself
doesn't seem important enough or entertaining enough.)
Now, the good:
* In my postmortem column for
last season, I wrote that young Sharks like Tomas Hertl and Timo Meier were
going to have to step up, given that Sharks core players like Thornton and
Pavelski were now well into their 30s. At Thursday's game, we saw exactly that
happen. Meier, Hertl and Chris Tierney stepped up to the plate and won the game
for the Sharks. We're going to need to see continued contributions from the
Sharks younger players if the team is to remain relevant in the standings.
* Martin Jones, who looked shaky in goal he first two games, played
better in Thursday's game.
* After a disappointing first season with
the Sharks, Mikkel Boedker now has two points in three games, including a goal.
Let's hope this is the sign of more good things to come.
will play two more home games, against the Islanders and Canadiens, before
heading out to New Jersey for their first road game of the year next Friday
against the so-far-surprising Devils. We're going to find out soon enough just
how good - or bad - the 2017-18 Sharks are.
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