Having this discussion with a buddy, and a bit more perspective on this:
If Pavelski doesn’t blow a tire in game 2, is this an entirely different series? If the called-back goal last night early wasn’t blown dead? we’re down 0-3, and it could easily be 3-0 if four or five pieces of “bad karma” turn the other way, or a couple of posts go in.
For all that it looks that the Sharks are done, the entire series turns on maybe four or five plays that didn’t go the Sharks way. A post here, a fast whistle, a lost edge. One or two of those go the other direction, this series is tied, or even Sharks up.
It’s not “sharks bad” here, but “dallas good”. There are two teams on the ice, and right now, Dallas is getting the breaks AND taking advantage of them. Good to them. And the Sharks aren’t playing badly, they’re being beaten by Dallas, currently playing better.
It’s kinda hard for me to get into the witchhunt that’s going to happen (starting with the canadian media that’s been hunting Ron Wilson and Patty Marleau all year beating the drums) when the real difference between the Sharks going to the final and the Sharks going to the tee seems to be a couple of posts, a fast whistle, a couple of penalty calls that maybe don’t go our way and Pavelski going down and giving the Stars a gift in game 2.
I know it’s not a popular opinion with some of the other fans, but I’m just not that frustrated, but I’ve always been tagged a suck up apologist… But then to me, there’s no dishonor in being beaten by a better team.
Remember, every year 29 teams suck, because they didn’t win the cup. Only one does. And this team is damn close to being a top 4 team, and is a top 8 team, even when not necessarily playing its best. The Sharks basically look really tired, Thornton and Grier and Roenick look gassed to me. And what was one of the worries coming out of the Calgary series? That the Flames took enough out of the Sharks that they couldn’t get past the next round. Guess what? It happened.
And in case you haven’t heard, the word is that Sean Avery went into cardiac arrest and stopped breathing after the game last night, and was rushed to the hospital where they found a lacerated spleen.
He’ll be okay, but think about this — if he’d bled out a little slower and gotten to his hotel room before passing out, he’d be dead this morning, and it’d be a much different discussion today. And that puts a different perspective on the importance of this “game”, or it should.
Update 1: new information is coming out that the cardiac arrest aspect was sensationalized reporting; Avery reportedly suffered the injury in the first period, played through the game, and was taken to the hospital after by the team doctor, where he walked in. Imagine if a blogger reported things that badly? But since this was the pro press, well, that’s different.
In any event, Avery’s going to be fine, but the underlying point is still valid: he’s lucky this was caught early, that’s a serious, potentially deadly injury, and to me, it puts the importance of the games in a different perspective, reminding me (again) just how seriously we ought to be taking this stuff sometimes.