May 11, 2011

San Jose Sharks - Going Down in Legendary Form

The San Jose Sharks remind me of the baseball team that lacks a closer. They get through 8 innings confidently holding a two run lead. Just when the game looks like it’s over, the closer throws a wild pitch, walks a guy and gives up a three- run homer. When the pressure is on, the Sharks are the equivalent of Byung-Hyun Kim in the 2001 World Series(read about Kim in games 4 and 5 at  This team is a fraud. Dominant in the regular season year after year, the Sharks just can’t get it done come playoff time.  They have won their division the last four years, and  have yet to make an appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, and have only appeared in one Western Conference Final, getting destroyed by the Chicago Blackhawks in 4 games last year.

The Sharks forced tomorrow nights game 7 at home after losing 3-1 to the Red Wings last night. Not only did they lose, they looked pathetic and weak doing it. This team lacks the soldiers required to win in the playoffs. They have many big bodies that can score in the regular season (see, Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Dany Heatley).  When it comes time to deliver and sacrifice in the playoffs, all three of these guys are stiffs.  The three of them combined have 23 points in these playoffs. Marleau has only 5! Ryan Clowe and Logan Couture are leading the Sharks with 13 and 11 points respectively.  This trio of duds takes up the majority of the Sharks cap space with Thornton making $7.2 million, Marleau making $6.9 million, and Heatley making $8 million. Their combined cap hit for this year is $21.4 million. The rest of the team makes $37 million combined.  None of these three “Big Bodies” has what it takes to be physical. Size is irrelevant if you are afraid of the corner. Watch closely and see how Heatley floats around, Thornton cautiously avoids hitting someone and Marleau avoids the dirty zones in front of the net. The Sharks are easy pickings right now, and they don’t have Evgeny Nabokov to blame this year. Does anyone remember how awful this trio was for Canada in the Olympics last year? Tomorrow will be a pressure cooker, and the Sharks will choke again!

-Mark Chyz

Send questions or comment to me on twitter @chyz1.

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