No, things arenâ€™t going well for the Sharks.
But theyâ€™re also on a stretch that has them playing nine games in 15 nights so Todd McLellan decided that his players needed time away from the rink more than they needed another practice.
Yes, I know, some of you would have bag-skated them after going 0-for-California at a time thatâ€™s crucial to their (fading?) playoff hopes.
It almost pains me to say it, but right now, the Sharks look to me to be missing the playoffs.
It’s hard to put a finger on what’s wrong. I don’t think the coaches know. I don’t think the players know. I sure don’t. But from watching them, it’s not that they’ve given up or stopped caring. They haven’t tuned out the coach. I like their work ethic. their conditioning seems fine. They’re trying hard. But at key moments, they don’t seem to try smart, and mistakes bury them.
And Â now they’re second guessing themselves. something goes wrong, and they falter. the textbook definition of “fragile”.
McLellan is right that bag skates is the wrong thing, especialy this time of year. Especially since it’s not lack of effort. That’s not sending a message or fixing the problem, that’s just revenge thinking. wrong idea.
Fact is, this team just isn’t clicking. In the West, there’s no margin of error, and this team is error prone. If I were to point at a single failure point, it’s the number of and timing of injuries — this team simply never got a roster set and in a rhythm. I think. Maybe.
right now, I think it’s too late. I suppose they can wake up and go on a run, but I don’t think they will. I’m not sure they should. Why cost ticket holders one round of playoff tickets? (that sound you just heard was Sharks ownership wincing). But unless this team really changes overnight (and it won’t), even if they squeak in, they aren’t going far.
I’m guessing they have company. Detroit and detroit’s goaltending looks to be joining the “what happened here?” club. I’m not seeing them go far, either.
God help whoever runs into St. Louis in the first round. they’ll need it.
I could, I guess, get up some righteous anger at the Sharks, but you know? Some years, it just never happens to plan. I think we’re seeing a glimpse of what might have happened if Havlat had stayed healthy.
I know there’s been some rumblings about the Minnesota trades during the offseason, but to be honest? I think the Sharks won those trades. Heatley/Setoguchi are at 77 points for the season, but Burns and Havlat are at 56; not that far behind, and Havlat only played 30 games. If he played 70 at close to that rate, this pair well outscored the former sharks. And heatley and seto are a combined -19 vs +14. And look at where the Sharks are in the standings vs. the wild. I’ll take what we have vs. what we gave up.
So for me, it’s about playing out the string and seeing how this team fights through the rest of the season. I don’t think sharks fans need to panic. I do think they need to realize that sometimes, an engine throws a rod, and by the time you fix it, the race is over. That’s the Sharks this year. But I’m unconvinced you need to throw out the engine or the drive for next year’s race. (but replace a few parts? definitely. But that’s for laterâ€¦ there’s still hockey to complain aboutâ€¦)