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San Jose Sharks

San Jose Sharks Dominate When Angry

San Jose SharksIn 1994 there was an incident on the San Francisco 49ers’ sideline that some would say was the pivotal moment where the team went from a team not living up to it’s expectations to Super Bowl Champions. Understand that this was the year the 49ers went out and brought in several star players from other teams. They were signed with the specific purpose of winning a Super Bowl. The 49ers went out and got Deion Sanders, Ken Norton Jr., Gary Plummer, Richard Dent and other ’star’ players. The idea was that these players would take less money in exchange for a real opportunity to win a championship. The experiment wasn’t paying off. The 49ers were being beaten - badly - at home by the Philadelphia Eagles. The humiliation boiled over when then head coach George Seifert pulled quarterback Steve Young in the 3rd quarter out of fear that his star quarterback might get hurt. Steve Young, angry that his head coach had given up on the game when Young wanted to keep rallying, went on a verbal tirade that was shown over and over again on national television. The team, which was 3-2 after the loss, went on to win 9 in a row (losing the final game which had no meaning) and eventually won the Super Bowl. Many believed Steve Young’s blown gasket brought the team together and ‘righted the ship’, and that if he hadn’t gone on that rampage the team may have never come together and won that championship.

If the San Jose Sharks go on to win a Stanley Cup you can look at last night’s game against the Montreal Canadiens as a possible turning point in the season. All season long we’ve watched the Sharks do two things - amass the 2nd best record in the NHL yet still manage to not be able to play up to expectations (read: beat Detroit or Chicago). Last night the Sharks were once again not playing up to expectations and it looked like they wouldn’t be able to find that ‘extra gear’ required to turn the game around. Then Scott Nichol got boarded. The shot was cheap and there was no call. Back in October it took Scott Nichol about one week to become a fan favorite. It doesn’t take long to recognize his hard work. I’m pretty certain that he’s become a locker room favorite too - you can’t help but appreciate that kind of effort. What kind of heart does Nichol have? After obviously sustaining a shoulder injury, Nichol got up holding his injured arm with his good arm, all the while shouting at the officials about the hit - not a single hint of concern for his own injury but showing all the concern about how his team was being treated unfairly. That whole sequence set off the Sharks.

The Sharks then managed to turn the game completely around and literally ‘take’ the victory. I have not seen that kind of game-changing effort in a long time. For the first time this season, nay perhaps in a couple of seasons, the Sharks showed not only us but THEMSELVES that when they decide to do something as a group it can happen. And remember, the bar for team effort has recently been set and set high. The Olympics showed what can happen when a team puts everything on the line and last night’s post-Nichol injury effort was right up there with the Canada-USA medal game. Those last 8 or so minutes of the game showed for the first time, in my opinion, what the Sharks look like when everyone is playing up to potential. If it were up to me, the NHL odds should have shifted a little in the Sharks favor.

On a side note if you look at the recent history of modern professional sports it’s quite common to bring in top talent on a short contract to try to win championships. The NHL is a perfect example of signing ‘rental’ players to try to get that last piece of the puzzle to make a serious run at a title. That dynamic - the star player on a 1-year deal, was started by the 49ers during that 1994 season. This was not a common practice prior to that year, so one can only imagine what would have happened it the 49er experiment failed and they didn’t win that 5th Super Bowl.

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Discussion

3 comments for “San Jose Sharks Dominate When Angry”

  1. And now they have won three in a row, all come from behinders, which worries me a bit, but hey if they can keep winning and dipping into that reserve tank all the way through the playoffs and bring home the cup I am not going to complain.

    Posted by unrulytravllerNo Gravatar | March 12, 2010, 5:42 am
  2. [...] the ‘do or die’ experience of the Olympics, combined with what I believe to be that turning point moment, have given the Sharks the opportunity to visit AND RETURN from that one, elusive place - the [...]

    Posted by NHL Hockey penaltykill.net | Joe Pavelski Will Be The Next Captain Of The San Jose Sharks + Learning How To Return From The Brink | March 12, 2010, 11:47 am
  3. They better get angry again real soon because these last four losing efforts have been atrocious. It’s like they are a minor league team that is “just happy” to be playing with the big boys. Hopefully they can end the losing streak tonight against the hated Flames.

    Posted by unrulytravllerNo Gravatar | March 19, 2010, 6:05 am

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