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San Jose Sharks

One Look And Evgeni Nabokov Leaves The San Jose Sharks

San Jose SharksWhen Dan Boyle assisted in putting the game winning goal into the Sharks net in Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarter Finals I saw something that might have been a bigger deal had the Sharks not made it to the Western Conference Finals. Evgeni Nabokov glared at Boyle not once, but twice - first as Boyle skated past the net waving his stick in frustration, and again when the players were leaving the ice. I tried to find a good video of this but could not, so if you can find one send me the link and I’ll post it.

That glare could have sealed Nabokov’s fate. Over the last few years my opinion of Nabokov has been sliding. It isn’t my opinion of him as a goal tender but my opinion of him as a team mate. I’ve lived through the Barry Bonds years where the team made sacrifices because of Bonds’ ability as an athlete. I started to think Nabokov was sort of the same character. My opinion was formed around his unwillingness to sign autographs when leaving The Tank and his unwillingness to give interviews. It isn’t that Nabokov is to hockey want Barry Bonds was to baseball, but the general consensus was that if you got rid of Nabokov who would replace him? Well, that question was answered by a bunch of young goalies named Jaroslal Halak, Craig Anderson, Antti Niemmi and Michael Leighton. Who could replace Nabokov - it could be anyone.

When a fore-checker is in your zone you’re supposed to be on your toes and Nabokov has been called out as being just as responsible for that own-goal as anyone else. The glare he gave Dan Boyle gave me the impression that Nabokov might not be taking as much responsibility for the team’s play as you would hope. Last season the house keeping included getting rid of guys who didn’t put the team first. Can you imagine being in that locker room during the playoffs, everyone finally putting the team first but having your goalie not only letting in inopportune, momentum killing goals but showing actions that put blame elsewhere? Can you imagine that same team with a goalie that may not be quite as stalwart as a veteran player but a kid that always plays hard and takes responsibility when he feels like he let his team mates down?

Now the suspense turns to signing all our restricted and unrestricted free agents. The good news is that a Doug Wilson interview on Comcast Sports Net revealed that all of those free agents have been approaching him about signing contracts before the July 1 start of free agency, meaning all our guys want to be back with the team. If we’re lucky it’ll turn out to be an eventful week and we can sit back and watch other teams out bid each other to sign players.

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Discussion

One comment for “One Look And Evgeni Nabokov Leaves The San Jose Sharks”

  1. Pavs “The play Maker” and Patty have re-signed. Marleau will earn $6.9 milion per season while Pavelski is making $4 million per season.

    Posted by FC SharksfanNo Gravatar | June 24, 2010, 9:42 am

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