Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Leadership, Panicking, and Gorges

Sometimes I think leadership in sports is just like chemistry- it matters only if you're losing. So the Sharks have gotten thoroughly embarrassed the last few games, getting shutout in both Nashville and Columbus, and only barely showing up in Dallas. It brings one to the question of chemistry and leadership, and if the Sharks have it. Marleau is said to be a silent leader, not one to chastise players in the locker room, and Joe is the same way- he leads by example, and not be speaking out. Grier and Brown are vets who have been there before, but no one on the Sharks today will stand up in the locker room and grab people by the scruff of the neck.

So does that mean the Sharks need to make a move? Sure, the last month has been kinda brutal, but do you trade someone like Bernier or Cheechoo to gear up for the playoffs? As I said in the last post, the Sharks are a young team. Maybe this year isn't their year to win the Cup. But who would have said last year was the Canes' year? You do the best you can, and hope to get hot in the postseason.

I do wonder if there is enough grit in the locker room, and enough experience. Take this quote from Joe Thornton in ESPN The Magazine about Josh Gorges:

Really sensitive young man, ready to give you a hug anytime you feel down. He's just concerned about his teammates. He also watches chick flicks. "The Notebook" is his favorite. And he's secure in that.
I can't say I'm reassured.


cullitonholic said...

About Gorges, well you should be happy now that he is gone ... But, I don't think on-ice "grit" has anything to do with being gruff and uncaring off-ice anyway. It's great that Gorges is ready to support his teammates emotionally, and is in touch with his feminine side.

Mike said...

Thanks for your comment.

I'll stipulate that being caring and supporting your teammates emotionally is not a hockey liability if you stipulate that Gorges is a marginal NHL player at best. I'm glad he's gone not because I didn't like him, or thought he was a wuss, but because we got a solid top-4 D man in return. Gorges is an above average skater with great heart, but his lack of size hurts him on the ice. And as I've said before, the quality of "being able to take a hit" sounds good, but will probably lead to a long string of injuries.