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The Timo Meier Illusion
Great game by Great Player Masked Sharks' Shortcomings
1/23/22 - By Paul Krill
Once, about two or three years ago, I recognized Timo Meier in the lobby of the downtown Hilton Hotel and approached him for a few seconds. He was a very friendly, humble guy; the game of hockey couldn't ask for a better ambassador than somebody like Timo. For me, this made Timo's five-goal game on MLK Day on January 17 even more special - pretty much every shot he threw at the net went in, and his game that day may never be matched by a Shark again.

But Timo's milestone game did obscure what was really not great a performance overall by the Sharks, who were outshot 41 to 17 by the Kings, with the puck probably spending 75 percent of the time in the Sharks' end of the ice. These are not stats that often lead to victory. And Timo's great game was helped along by Jonathan Quick's less-than-usual performance in goal for the Kings. The guy is a lock for the Hall of Fame, but he was not his normal self that day.

The euphoria of Timo's five-goal game didn't get to last long: The Sharks followed this game up by again losing to the first-year Seattle Kraken expansion team three nights later, 3-2, despite coming out of the gate like gangbusters in the first minute and scoring first. Why can't the Sharks beat this first-year expansion team? They've played them twice and lost both contests.

It gets worse from there. The Sharks then came home to play the Tampa Bay Lightning and got smoked, 7-1, on Saturday evening. One of those head-for-the-exits-early contests for the fans. Now, the Sharks have to go on the road to play the top teams in the league, including the Lightning again, the Panthers, the Capitals and the Hurricanes. This could get ugly.

It's certainly disappointing that the Sharks are at best mediocre and will be hard-pressed to secure a playoff spot once teams closely behind them in points, like the Flames, make up a huge gap in games played. (For example, the Sharks had played 42 games as of Sunday and had 44 points. The Flames had 42 points in 36 games.)

We might be in a situation where the best we can hope for this season are some memorable individual performances while the Sharks miss out on the post-season again. Sigh. Disappointing, to say the least.

Contact Paul at at paulkrill@letsgosharks.com


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