San Jose Sharks: Observations From The Cheap Seats
One of the best things about having seats in the penultimate row of the arena is that I can see everything going on rather easily. When the San Jose Sharks went down in defeat to the St. Louis Blues last night I was able to see the goal coming on two of the Blues’ power plays. Why that is amazing is because I’m not the most astute hockey observer. If I can see it coming then it must be overly obvious to the players.
Bad penalty kill, ineffective power play - whatever the the immediate problem it looks like the underlying problem with the Sharks is a lack of jump in their play. The Sharks seem to be playing a lazy, lethargic brand of hockey that looks and feels uninspired. Unfortunately this perception is where the frustration is generated.
During the post game show after the Sharks’ last regular season loss against the Phoenix Coyotes there was a heated exchange between Ray Ratto and Drew Remenda. Ratto made the comment that the Sharks just don’t care and Remenda took exception to that comment.
The gist of Ratto’s argument is that all the analysis and all the rhetoric needs to be put aside and the Sharks just need to go out and win games. From the look of things they just don’t seem to care.
The gist of Remenda’s argument is that it’s easy to make such comments when you’re in a television studio (or sitting at home in your living room) and not down with the team. He contends that the team does care and the idea that they just need to ‘go out and win the game’ is exactly what the team is trying to do.
I hate to say it but I side with Ratto on this one. I’m a paying fan. I pay for my season tickets and I pay for cable. Unlike Remenda I don’t have access to the dressing room or access to the team plane/team bus. All I get to go on is the play on the ice. What I see on the ice looks ‘lazy’. I’m going to guess that everyone is playing hurt - REALLY hurt - but again, unlike Remenda I don’t have access to that information. Not that it should matter.
I trust that the team cares and that they want to win, but judging by what I can SEE is they’re not playing championship hockey. And that’s really too bad.
But still we’re just down two games to one at this point and I’m finally at that place where I’ve adjusted to the emotions of the ‘win or go home’ mentality of the NFL to the ‘wave riding’ required to navigate a best-of-seven series. I get to go to the game on Thursday and I’m hoping for something a little more ‘inspired’.