San Jose Sharks Tank In The Tank
I have 10 minutes to compose this post so let’s get cracking. I remember very clearly a comment made on NHL Home Ice LAST year that the San Jose Sharks - in their attempts to build a championship team - had traded away many of their first round draft picks. The Sharks’ farm system, which traditionally had been very well stocked, was now very thin. Mind you this comment was made last year BEFORE they went on their playoff run. This year the comment by my friend (not so) torturedkingsfan was ‘yeah, you guys don’t have much in your system.’
There were two defensive starters scratched for last nights’ game against the Detroit Red Wings - Niclas Wallin and Kent Huskins. Not all are convinced that those two guys are exactly impact players, if anything they’re veteran defensemen who use their experience to overcome their physical shortcomings. But when both of those guys - probably the 4th and 5th guys on the defensive depth chart - are out, and you replace them with a few of your best defensemen from your farm system, one would HOPE that the defensive drop off would be minimal.
Again - I’m still not savvy enough to know what to look for in ‘good’ hockey, but the defensive breakdowns were SO obvious even I could spot them. And it’s not necessarily team defense, the kids from Worcester made individual mistakes so big they could be seen from all they way up in Section 211 Row 11 - from the other side of the ice.
It looks like the drop off is so significant that the Sharks are playing by the skin of their teeth. Not that all is lost, the gap between us and the lead in the Pacific is just 3 points, and the gap for the lead in the Western Conference is just 8, but if the Sharks don’t start looking at making some trades and/or start figuring out how to improve as a team that gap will very quickly become gappier and we’ll find ourselves outside looking farther inside.