May 17th, 2010, 1:49 pm
Just a little. My initial reaction to the game yesterday was opposite of other postseason losses so far. Previously, I figured the Sharks were starting the downhill slide and would lose the series and would then trade all their good players and fire the rest and OH MY GOD IT HURTS THE SHARKS ARE TERRIBLE. This time? Not so much. They seem to be shaken by their losses much less than I am, to their enormous credit. I have no doubt that they are mentally tough enough to put it behind them, and go out and win game 2.
But that doesn’t mean they are going to win it. In my view, they have to solve the Toews ‘n’ Kane problem. The young, fresh-faced players are like adorable Cabbage Patch Dolls, except with dazzling puck skills and manscaping. Kane in particular looks like a younger, mulleted version of Pavel Dasyuk out there. I’m not saying the Sharks should play the trap, but they need to find a way to keep that pair from getting a head of steam in the neutral zone. Inevitably, it leads to a long painful offensive possession. Sometimes you see Keith or Campbell do the same thing, with mostly the same results. That has to stop, or at least lessen, if the Sharks are to win the series.
Other than that, it’s hard to be too down on the Sharks effort. They put 45 shots on a team that averaged 25 against during the regular season. Against a goalie with a .910 save percentage, that’s four goals per game, easily enough to win. The Dustin Byfuglien boogeyman didn’t really appear, his goal from 40 feet out notwithstanding. This guy is bigger than Tomas Holmstrom, but not nearly as dangerous in the slot. The bigger danger is the load of ice they take at will. If the Sharks let them pull the Globetrotters routine every game, it could get ugly. By the same token, if the Hawks give up tons of scoring chances and get pushed around by the larger Sharks forwards, it could get ugly the other way too. It’s going to be a great series.
Don’t be afraid to come out and see us at Coach’s this Wednesday for the 100th episode. Think of it as a first date in a public place. We don’t bite. Except for Doug that one time, but he was on mescaline and his record has since been expunged.
Oh, and we have the best GM in the league, and he in turn has the best progeny.