// you’re reading...

San Jose Sharks

San Jose Sharks Mid-Season Playoff Test

sharksfanFC Sharks Fan comments: “Two big games coming up with Calgary and Detroit. I think this would be a good test to see how resilient the Sharks have become. This should be treated like a playoff game. We took it on the chin by them and now let’s see how we bounce back. In the playoffs you are going to have a down game here and there, but the really good teams overcome that and finish off teams when called upon. This was the issue with the Sharks teams of the past. Let’s see how much we have changed.”

I couldn’t agree more. The last time we had a “playoff trial” was back in October when the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings came to town. Back then the season was less than a month old and the questions about the team were much different. In the beginning of the season we were all wondering how would the San Jose Sharks adapt to the new coaching staff and style of Todd McLellan, and how well would Rob Blake and Dan Boyle fit with their new team. At that time we were all excited to see everything going extremely well, that the near wholesale changes were worth it.

After the two wins over the Penguins and Red Wings the Sharks were 9-2 and had not lost at home (which, by the way, was another unanswered question – could the Sharks win at home). The tone then focused on the future as we wondered how long the Sharks would be able to keep up their winning ways and when the inevitable “bump in the road” hit, how would the Sharks respond?

Here we are two and a half months later and the Sharks are 32-5-5. Obviously the Sharks have been able to keep up their winning ways, but the other question – can they overcome adversity when that eventual slump hits, is a harder question to answer. One way to look at it is that they haven’t really had significant adversity to overcome so the question remains unanswered. Another way to look at it is they’ve constantly overcome adversity by keeping single losses from becoming losing streaks.

At the time I felt the Penguins and Red Wings games were the perfect test at the perfect time. I agree that now the Calgary and Detroit games are a perfect test for right now – can the Sharks bounce back after arguably their worst losses of the season and defend “simulated” home ice? Stay tuned.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to MySpace

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,


8 comments for “San Jose Sharks Mid-Season Playoff Test”

  1. The Sharks have plenty left to prove when it comes to Calgary - the Flames have won 2 of the last 3 games at the Tank. But they are in the groove again and I have a feeling that Nabby’s going to come up big tonight, since he has the most on the line after getting pulled in Calgary. He’s also allowed 16 goals on 85 shots in losing four straight to the Flames (0-2-2). Shut your 5-hole Nabby!!

    Posted by Son of OTNo Gravatar | January 15, 2009, 11:51 am
  2. I think the new equipment might be causing Nabby some problems. The height of the leg pad over the knee was reduced by some, I think, 4 inches. I think other teams know this and are gunning for the 5 hole, and unfortunately Nabby might be one of the goalies that counted on that extra padding and hasn’t made the adjustment. Boucher on the other hand…..

    Posted by sharksfanNo Gravatar | January 15, 2009, 12:16 pm
  3. Rule changes this year reduced the size of “Inner Knee Pads” and “Calf Wing Protectors”, each of which were being used to cover the 5-hole. “We came to the conclusion that we should move forward with some subtle changes for the 2008-09 season,” said NHL goaltending supervisor Kay Whitmore, who played goal in 155 NHL games for the Hartford Whalers, Vancouver Canucks, Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames. “There will be more changes next year with more proportional fittings for protection only. We have to get back to the beginning of what equipment was for in the first place.”

    Posted by Son of OTNo Gravatar | January 15, 2009, 12:36 pm
  4. Not to sound like a homer, but that had to be one of the worst officiated games of the season. No surprise Kerry Fraser was involved. There was so much interference and hooking away from the puck not being called. And on the first Calgary goal, while I was ready to send Ehroff to the minors, when I replayed it on my DVR, you could see the Calgary player put his stick in Ehroff’s skates. He falls down in a heap and it is an easy tap in goal. Later Nabby gets interfered and again no call.

    I will say one thing. The refs had nothing to do with the Sharks inability to score 5 on 3 for 30 seconds. The Sharks better get use to the non-calls though. This is just like play-off hockey where the refs swallow their whistles and revert to the old rules.

    What have I learned from last night’s game?

    1) Need to work on the power play. More screens.
    2) We lack defensemen depth. Blake goes down and no one rises to the occasion.

    Vlasic takes the point on the power play, but lacks the booming shot. It will be interesting to see what happens during the trade deadline. We may have to sacrifice a forward for defensive depth.

    Let’s see how we do against Detroit tomorrow.


    Posted by FC Sharks FanNo Gravatar | January 16, 2009, 9:04 am
  5. Interesting comments by FC Sharks Fan about need to shore up defense. I only saw the 3rd period last night and thought the Sharks were outhustled. However - Nabby’s impressive play was a big positive and I understand from FC Fan that he did indeed shut the 5-hole. To be sure - without Blake, JR etc. the team is not 100%. But it would be nice to see them win tomorrow night and I’m a little worried about the psychological effects if they don’t (maybe more on the fans than the team). Bottom line - last night’s loss doesn’t change my high expectations about the Shark’s post-season prospects. Haven’t heard update about Blake so far - let me know if you hear anything.

    Posted by Son of OTNo Gravatar | January 16, 2009, 10:17 am
  6. I hate losing - it sucks - period.

    Posted by sharksfanNo Gravatar | January 16, 2009, 10:42 am
  7. Being a “good sport” involves being a “good winner” as well as being a “good loser”. Even the most successful Stanley Cup champions typically lose at least 20 games during the season.

    Posted by Son of OTNo Gravatar | January 16, 2009, 2:22 pm
  8. I’m a VERY good at losing…doesn’t mean I like it!

    Posted by sharksfanNo Gravatar | January 16, 2009, 3:39 pm

Post a comment

Hockey Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory  
  Add to Technorati Favorites