When the Sharks have played this season, some games they seem like they are a cup contender, while other games they seem to lack everything that is needed. Case in point, this weekend. The Sharks drop a 4-2 loss at home, but then come back the next day and beat Anaheim 2-1 in a shootout on the road in the return of Scott Neidermeyer.
This team is so frustrating to watch some nights. I am yelling at the tv always, but it is either being excited about they way the team is playing or so mad with their play.
Ryan Garner wrote a great blog about the team not having what it takes to be a cup contender. I have said it as well that the team looks great on paper, but lacks that drive, that passion you get from wanting to win.
Here are some questions and thoughts I thought of while reading his blog:
I still cannot decide if the Sharks are ready to win a cup. My mind tells me they are with all the good players the Sharks have and their potential to get better. But my heart tells me no. So far this season, Craig Rivet, Mike Grier, and Joe Thornton have consistently played with their heart on their sleeve. Other players are stepping up their emotion and physical play, but we need all hands on deck or the ship will sink. And sinking is not winning a Stanley Cup or even just making the Cup Finals.
The Sharks have some players on their team stepping up their play and wanting to win, while other players consistently make poor mistakes. Maybe some players need to be sent down to Worchester, maybe they don't. Maybe they can shake off their issues and pick up their slack like the rest of the team has.
I want to say that the Dallas loss is just a loss. The Sharks did play well, but caught a few bad bounces and bad calls that did not go their way. But then again, maybe they lost because they still do not have all the tools necessary.
Maybe the Sharks should trade a player for someone who has what the Sharks are missing, and that is passion and grit. A player that gets under the other team's skin and causes trouble. I am leaning toward this direction alot, but I do not want to give up anything the Sharks currently possess on this team. The trade deadline is still a while away, and I wrote an article recently about all the Cheechoo trade talks some fans have stirred up.
Once again, I will say let him get healthy and come back onto Joe's line and if he is still not performing the way he is expected to, then maybe a shake-up is necessary. But maybe, when he comes back, his goal scoring touch will return and there will be no need to let go of him.
Or maybe the problem lies with the coaching staff. I do not approve of the way the Sharks play a trap game, and dump and chase all the time. I do not like the way the team goes into a defensive shell when they are leading a game. Maybe a new coach with a different style could come in and unleash this team's speed, power, and potential. But maybe a coaching change would just make the team play worse.
The Sharks are not going to win every game, yeah I wish they would have beaten Dallas to have a nice 4-game win streak going instead of just one, but this week should be a test to see what this team is really made of. A test to see whether they possess all the tools necessary to make it to the Cup Finals. A test of their character, their will, their passion, and their determination to play excellent, consistent hockey.
This week will determine if maybe they do have what it takes to win a cup, or maybe they don't. It is up to the Sharks, and only them.
A quick afterthought.
I know Sharks fans are impatient even more now this season, and it is because the Sharks have been in the league since 1991 and have not even made it to the Stanley Cup Finals yet. Anaheim, Tampa Bay, and Carolina have all already won the Cup, and even Ottawa made the finals last year. It is about time we make it that far, and right now the Sharks either have what it takes to make their season last that long, or they do not. But now is the time these questions must be asked in a serious manner and address them soon.
I firmly believe that simply this team does not want to win as much as we do. We being the teal bleeding fans who yell louder than any other hockey fans in the league. It is quite clear when fans and writes from other cities comment about our fans, our passion, and our atmosphere.
We are the ones who fill the seats, who call into Sharksbuzz, who have followed the team when Doug Wilson had a previous role with the Sharks, and who drove up to Daly City when the team was terrible.
We are dehydrated, thirsty, and dying for a Stanley Cup. We want it so bad that even while the Sharks are in the top of the Conference, that we do not think it is good enough. This team must start living up to our expectations because we are the ones who finance this team.
We buy the seats, we buy crappy new uniforms, and we follow the games on tv from across the country. The Sharks must have the same level of passion as us fans do if they want to create the drive and passion it takes to win a cup.
Just a few thoughts.
Call into Sharksbuzz tonight at 10pm Pacific with your thoughts on the team and issues you would like to address! Look forward to hearing what you have to say and GO SHARKS!