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San Jose Sharks

San Jose Sharks Get A Hockey Lesson

San Jose SharksIt took me a few days, and a show-me follow-up victory, to put me in a frame of mind to write about the San Jose Sharks. Two nights ago the Chicago Blackhawks absolutely dismantled my team. Words cannot express the magnitude of the Sharks’ futility and equally the Blackhawks’ mastery. I have never seen a more one-sided hockey game ever.

Most of the sports franchises in the San Francisco Bay Area have sunk, are sinking or are trying to un-sink from the basements of their respective sports. Although some of these teams have made real attempts to turn things around - taking actions such as management changes, coaching changes, player personnel changes – real change only seems to occur incrementally. While those incremental improvements are reason for hope, nothing upsets me more than another team managing to turn things around in less time than my team.

During the 2003-2004 season the San Jose Sharks compiled 104 regular season points. During the same season the Chicago Blackhawks finished with 59. Over the next 5 years the Sharks continued to sit near the top of the NHL and never made it to the finals. Every year they Sharks talk about how this is not acceptable and have made change after change to improve the team. Meanwhile the Blackhawks have put together perhaps one of the best teams in the NHL – not that I ever saw them play but everyone on XM Radio’s NHL Home Ice raved about just how talented a team they had become.

So when they Blackhawks rolled into The Tank I was excited about the opportunity to see them for myself. Well, turns out I wasn’t excited to see them at all. It felt like “here we go again”. It felt like another franchise was able to put together a championship team in less time than it took to adjust my existing team to get over that hump. Not that the Blackhawks have won anything yet, it’s just that the test for the Sharks has always been whether or not they can rise to a challenge, and the second place Blackhawks should qualify as a challenge to rise to.

Luckily for me and my paranoid sports obsession the Sharks managed to win the next game. This sits as a huge moral victory for me because it shows that the Sharks can bounce back – a character trait not exactly synonymous with the Sharks. And the win did not come easy, they had to scrape and scratch against the Edmonton Oilers only to prevail in a shootout. It was close but the effort was there, and that’s what this Sharks fans needed to see. And also helping me recover is the fact that the Blackhawks lost to the Anaheim Ducks – if they bleed they can be killed.

I know it’s just one game but if feels like the whole season. I’ve discussed this phenomenon at length with PittPen. The problem with being a football to hockey convert, something that I am, you fall into the trap where you treat every hockey game with the same importance of every football game. With only 16 football games compared to 82 hockey games, the math says each hockey game is worth only 20% of one football game. That would suggest that I shouldn’t get too upset unless the Sharks go on a 5-game losing streak, then I have to start worrying. Whatever.

We still have 57 more games to go. I don’t think I can make it….

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