Saturday, October 27, 2007

Hard to Be Patient

So I watched the Detroit game this morning, and (thanks to Center Ice) the Columbus game this afternoon. Both were disappointing, and for different reasons.

The Detroit game was a bummer mostly because it's clear that Detroit is much better than the Sharks right now. Their breakout is crisper, the cycle steadier, and the scoring chances quicker. They spring a winger almost every single breakout, always with enough speed and skill to make a play even on an able defenseman. The Sharks played ok in the first two periods- the first two goals were off the post- but both goals came on bad turnovers, now officially an epidemic. Then the third the Wings opened it up and made the Sharks look stupid.

The Columbus game was even worse, because the Sharks played listlessly and sloppily the entire time. They took a lot of penalties (and probably should have gotten more called), had very few long possessions, and again committed idiotic turnovers in their own zone. They had every excuse in the world to lose- back to back away games less than 24 hours apart, against a solid home team. But excuses don't fly at the highest level of sports.

It's so hard not to be impatient at times like this, and start calling for the coach's head, for top players to be benched or traded away. Especially since the illness is one of effort and work ethic and not of talent. It's hard not to think that Ron Wilson is no longer getting through. The fact that he still juggles the lines continuously, once seemingly the work of an eccentric hockey genius, now seems pointless and desperate.

I grit my teeth and try to remember that other than the Devils, no team in the NHL has played fewer home games up to this point. Still, we don't have a homestand longer than two games until late November. I hope the Sharks can find a way to staunch the bleeding by then, or they'll have to work their way out of a big hole come the new year.


The Hip said...

You've proven more patient than I, but I want to officially welcome you to my side of the fence.

I think the problem is with Ron Wilson. I read somewhere in the offseason that some guys don't like him. I wonder how true that is? I think NHL players are some of the proudest people in sports, and I can't believe that the Sharks are content with the way they are playing. There's too much skill on the ice. I think there's a problem in the locker room. Strange.

Huge loss with Grier. Compounded with a possible loss of Clowe. Hello Seto?

My prediction: big trade coming. We lose a fan-favorite, but it shakes up the team in a good way. Douggie cannot be a happy man right now.

Big November... we're going to take 9 of 12. Go Sharks.

Mike said...

I'm not on your side of the fence just yet- I'm just fighting a knee-jerk reaction. The first impulse is always to fire the coach.

I can't find any info on either of those injuries... maybe you just mean it's a huge loss for that game?

The Hip said...

Don't know what's up with Grier.

Clowe (knee) and Davison (sprained finger) both on IR.

Seto and Kaspar called up.

Have you read the article today in the Merc? Sounds like Rivet is stepping up in the leadership catagory and calling the team out.

Mike said...

Yup, just saw the IR reports and the article. Frankly, I think it could be just what the doctor ordered. A shakeup without the finality of a trade or firing.

Ian said...

I don't know if this team needs a different coach, or a big trade, but it sure looks like the fundamental problems haven't been solved this year. And more than that, the team has taken a step back.

If last year's Sharks lacked consistency, resiliency, and belief in their gameplan last year (exposed all too vividly in their loss to Detroit), this year's Sharks are even worse on all those counts.

The next 5 games are going to say a lot about the character of this team. If they continue to struggle, I expect either a trade or a coaching change, or both.