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San Jose Sharks

Did Doug Wilson Cut Too Close To The Bone?

San Jose SharksBefore the start of the season my concern with the San Jose Sharks was lack of depth at the goaltending position. I *felt* like maybe the Sharks had gambled and let Brian Boucher go because they were seriously courting Jonas Gustavsson. When Gustavsson chose the Toronto Maple Leafs it left us with just Thomas Greiss who, prior to this season, had no NHL experience. As the season start drew closer questions arose about blue-line depth, that Christian Ehrhoff and Brad Lukowich were the next best defensemen after Dan Boyle and their loss would really weaken a previously strong defensive core.

I’ve watched the two Sharks losses and it’s clear that defense is going to be an issue. I didn’t see the win against the Anaheim Ducks, but the review of the game on NHL Home Ice focused completely on the lack of effort by the Ducks and not on any effort put forth by the Sharks. I felt it kind of strange that we acquired Travis Moen and Kent Huskins at the end of last season (from the Ducks), but let Moen go and kept Huskins. When you consider Huskins never played for us becuase of his injury, one had to wonder what kind of gamble it was to keep him. How well would he bounce back from his injury and would he fit in with the rest of the team? Did we keep him simply because we needed defensemen more than another forward? And what happened to Derek Joslin? Last year, when called up from Worcester, I though he played well enough - didn’t do anything too outstanding other than just play solid, vanilla defense. Weren’t there reports that he was slated to make the team this year?

All in all there’s really a lack of coordination on the team - and it’s obvious. When you turn over as many guys as the Sharks did over the summer you have to figure it’s going to take a while to get everyone on the same page. As an outside observer I never really knew how much credit to give the concepts of ‘familiarity with teammates’ and ‘team chemistry’, and how those concepts relate to performance on the ice. If you compare last year to this year I think the credit is obvious - it counts for A LOT. The question is, is this team capable of good chemistry? After all, they’ve only been skating together for just over a month - will they all get along or will some of the new guys just never fit in? If they can’t how doomed are we? And if they can, how long will it take before things start coming together? From what I’ve heard, it better come together by (US) Thanksgiving, because that’s sort of the key date for knowing if your team can go for it or not.

Thanksgiving is a while away, so for now a whole herd of us are going to the home opener Thrusday night. There is a frightening statistic that, with the exception of Colorado (of which we were the victims), almost all the other teams lost their home openers. One of the theories - too much fanfare. Some teams put on such a huge, hollywood-type production - introducing everyone from the assistant equipment manager on up, doing features on each and every player, that it fatigued the home team before the game even started. Last year the Sharks were outstanding at home. If anything that’s the one thing they HAVE to hold on to, especially while they’re working out the kinks. I look at the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets as the early season ‘canary in the coal mine’ - if they can’t get it done at home….

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2 comments for “Did Doug Wilson Cut Too Close To The Bone?”

  1. yeah, defense and goaltending are definitely going to be a problem this season. One can only hope the Nabby will step it up and that Greiss will be a decent back up. I was sad that we let Boucher go though, as he had an amazing season in the back up role last year. I am worried that Nabby has lost a step or two, even as the defense goes south. Reference his poor playoff performance last year and his horrendous goalkeeping in the two losses. He only allowed 1 goal in the game against the Ducks, but then, the Ducks only had like two shots in the second period, so it’s not like he was challenged a whole lot.

    Posted by unrulytravllerNo Gravatar | October 8, 2009, 5:23 am
  2. [...] exodus of talent leaving the team seemed to exceed the talent joining the team. That outward flow prompted some worry on my part that perhaps Wilson had done too much housekeeping. After the Heatley acquisition I also feared that the Sharks may be jammed up in salary cap hell [...]

    Posted by Another NHL Hockey Blog Article from penaltykill.net | San Jose Sharks Doing More With “Less” | November 18, 2009, 5:04 pm

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