Year: 2008

— 30 —

My dad died today, quietly and not in pain. His body was just too frail to recover from the complications that set in with the triple-bypass. He had a feeling the end was near, I can’t tell you how many of his friends have told me in the last month that he felt he’d had a good life with no regrets, with his classic laugh and a smile. Fortunately for him, once the decline set in, it didn’t take long — as much as he loved life, he really hated doctors and hospitals, and being kept alive by machines was his real horror story, and we worked with the medical staff to accommodate him on that where we reasonably could. Everyone involved with Kaiser on this impressed the hell out of me, and have my thanks and respect. I went down to help out the family when he went in for the tests and stayed around through the surgery, went down again in a hurry last week when things started to go the wrong way — and after coming up yesterday to get home for a bit, am headed down again tomorrow to help with the arrangements and to be there for the burial. He went to Stanford (and hated when they changed their mascot to Cardinal, and never forgave them), drove a tank while helping to liberate Manilla,...

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So what did the Dallas series prove to us about the Sharks?

A couple of quick musings on the Detroit/Dallas series. Dallas came out of the 4 overtime game with little rest, and proceeded to hand Detroit three games before getting their game back and making it a series. Sound familiar? And both Mike Modano and Brendan Morrow were quoted in the press about how that overtime game took it out of them. A lot of this is biology; it takes a certain amount of time to flush out the lactic acid and replace the glucogen. It doesn’t matter HOW GOOD your conditioning it, if you don’t have time to rest up, you simply can’t perform at a top level. Detroit only had 1 extra day of rest over Dallas, but that one extra day was enough for the legs to recover. And it wasn’t until about game four that both teams got back to equivalent levels of physical exhaustion. So it’s really safe to claim that even though San Jose beat Calgary in 7, Calgary making the series that tough was the key factor in losing to the Stars. And the Sharks series was a key factor in the Stars losing to the Wings. That’s why killer instinct is so important. That’s why you need to put a team away and finish off a series when you can. It’s because a four game series gives you the ability to play...

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Conference Finals projections

Two for Elbowing: Conference Finals projections: And Sharks/Dallas? Dallas deserves to move forward. Good luck to them. 1-3. Ouch. but still 7-5 for the playoffs. I still have time to screw that up. And so I will. And I went 1-1 in the conference finals, so I’m at 8-6 and guaranteed a winning record for the playoffs for the 2nd year in a row. Not too bad. Okay, Okay. I’ve been under-estimating Detroit long enough. All year. I didn’t pick them that strong going into the season, I thought they were getting too old and the goaltending suspicious. In the playoffs, I kept assuming reality would kick in (forget that President’s trophy, it’s a mirage!). Osgood has a rep for being the worst goalie to ever win a Stanley Cup (“oh, hell, I could have won a Cup goaltending for that team”. right. yeah.) — and may soon be the worst goalie to have TWO rings. He’s done nothing but impress me all season, and especially in the playoffs. Hasek has impressed me as well, because he’s finally learned a trick never before seen in his career: the ability to shut up and be a team player when he’s not the #1 dog in the locker room. Never figured I’d see that, either. And now Frandsen is approved to start practicing. I think this is going to be one...

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More thoughts on Ron Wilson and the next Sharks coach..

I’ve been thinking and talking offline more about the Sharks and Wilson, how we got here, where we go, more or less following up on my previous musings on the topics. Ultimately, Ron Wilson wasn’t fired because he failed. He didn’t; just look at his numbers with the Sharks, and this season. 2nd best record, Division championship, 5th team left standing, and game 6 in the second round of the playoffs. Oh, and basically running the table the last quarter of the season…. The problem (“see, THERE’s your problem!”) is that this simply isn’t good enough, given this team’s talent. There have those of us who’ve felt — and I believe Doug Wilson would agree — that this team underperformed, both on an individual basis and as a team. So if I’m Doug Wilson, I would need to sit down with Ron Wilson and have a very uncomfortable (but short) conversation, that goes something like this: Given that this team didn’t play to its full potential (It was damn good. It should have been even better), what can you do as a coach to help these players reach this potential that you haven’t already done? And given you’ve had five years as coach, if you haven’t done it yet, why not? In other words, Ron Wilson’s damned no matter what. By this time, he’s taken this team as far...

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Who’s the next Sharks coach?

The media is pulling out all of the old names: Quinn, Burns, Hartley. Amusing, but… that’s why they’re media, and the media guys doing that are guys you should stop paying attention to. They’re pulling it out of their butt, and not worth the time you waste reading them. Who’s going to be the next Sharks coach? I certainly don’t have the answer, but I can think of a few names that I expect the Sharks to think about. One is Roy Sommers, who’s been cultivating the kids and doing the loyal person thing down in Worcester (and K.C., and Kentucky, and…). At some point, someone’s going to notice him and give him a shot in the NHL, or the Sharks are going to move him up to the parent club. He’s good, especially with younger players, and a lot of the current sharks were taught by him and coached by him during development. Which sounds a lot like the story of Bruce Boudreau, no? Joel Quenneville intrigues me. He did some good things in Colorado, can deal with younger players, and has success. His system would work well in San Jose. But two names that the big name folks aren’t as likely to think of, and both have Sharks connections: Tony Granato, former Shark, former Av coach and Av assistant coach. Mike Sullivan, former Bruins coach, and former...

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