Ducks A Very Imperfect 0-4
MJ Kasprzak over at mvn.com wrote about his reservations surrounding the Sharks and their 4-0 record. After last night’s loss to Edmonton the Anaheim Ducks are 0-4 and I fear this does not bode well for the Sharks.
In the 80’s and 90’s when the San Francisco 49ers dominated the NFL their division was made up of some of the best teams in New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Rams history (yes, that’s right kids, the Rams USED to be in LA). In fact many a pundit often speculated that any of those three teams could have been Super Bowl Champions if they hadn’t been stuck in a division with the 49ers. They say you’re only as good as your competition, so perhaps it can be said the 49ers were helped by the quality of their rivals.
As of late, the NFC West and National League West have consistently been the worst divisions in their respective sports. There was a time this season where every team in the NL West was below .500. Because of this lack of competition I have no real hope of championships in football or baseball because, even if my local teams make it to the playoffs, their chances of winning it all are slim to none (read Los Angeles Dodgers routed in 5).
Even if they were shy to predict the Sharks to win it all (and with good reason after recent playoff performances) many of the hockey voices still gave credit to the Pacific Division as being one of the tougher divisions in the NHL. But after Dallas getting only their first win last night and the Ducks winless after 4, is the competition in the Pacific good enough to really test the Sharks? Would we be better served battling both the Ducks and Stars for every last point come April? For as much as I despise losing to those teams I think, in the end, it’s better to be challenged during those 6 division rival games (that in some ways mimic a playoff series) than to coast into the playoffs because your division has become hockey’s version of the NL West.