Not So Fast - The San Jose Sharks Sliding Backwards
It’s not easy to blog when you’re team is losing. Sure my definition of ‘losing’ isn’t the same as most, but when you’re 15th in the conference and showing serious signs of weakness it’s difficult to get excited. The good news is that the Sharks are only 6 points back of the division lead, the bad news is they have to jump over 14 teams to do it.
The defense has been unable to hold a lead and the offense has been shut out. It’s (US) Thanksgiving and we’re reaching a turning point. Some theories say the team is getting used to trusting not just one new goal tender but two. I’m not sure if I buy that theory because if it were true I’m sure head coach Todd McClellan would have settled in on one goalie a long time ago. This would give the team the best chance to get used to that new goal tender.
Another theory is the new contracts. I don’t play fantasy hockey but NHL Home Ice actually has shows focusing on the subject (mostly during the summer when it’s one slow hockey news day followed by another). One of the host’s tenets is that he stays away from players that sign new contracts. The Sharks signed Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski. Given the character of these two players I absolutely don’t think they are suffering from any serious ‘contract hangovers’ (See Ilya Kovalchuk for the extreme example). But given the parity in the NHL any loss of even the slightest edge could mean ‘the difference’, and since these guys are team leaders perhaps the dulling of said edge is rubbing off on the rest of the team.
I have tickets to the Detroit Red Wings on November 30th and the Chicago Blackhawks on the December 11th. If the team cannot find a way to beat both of these opponents -at home no less - then I fear the worse. It’s only a matter of time before that 6 point gap starts to grow along side the impatience of The Sharks Nation.
Otherwise I’ll be spending my Thanksgiving in Minnesota. This is my first time (ever) spending the holiday in a place where you can actually play pond hockey. If I’m lucky I’ll get to see some kind of junior or college hockey, or better yet some outdoor hockey. Too bad I don’t know how to skate.