Some might think that Doug Wilson’s reaction (as I’ve pointed to this week) might be a bit — extreme. It’s not like the Sharks missed the playoffs, after all.
But the reality is, this was the year this team was aimed at; last year, “the kids got good experience” was good enough, this year, the expectation was for all the pieces to be there and click. Now, that didn’t happen — Mark Bell just never came close to what he was expected to be, not in any remote way, and I think the team spent a lot of time trying to fill that hole, never completely successfully.
But, also realize this: In the mid-90’s expansion, the Sharks showed up, then a year later, the Senators and Tampa. Then a bit after that, Anaheim and Florida.
Tampa’s won a cup. Anaheim and Florida have been to the finals. This year, the Senators and Anaheim are going to the finals, and one of them will win a cup.
San Jose is the only one of the teams from this round of expansion that haven’t made the cup finals.
That has to hurt, and cause heartburn. And it has to hurt even more that it’s two teams from that expansion period fighting it out this year… And I’m convinced Wilson believes the western team should ahve been the Sharks, and while we saw the Wing’s ability to make game 6 VERY interesting and the series a lot closer than maybe we expected, ultimately, Wilson’s convinced it’s waht the Sharks did NOT do, not what the Wings did.
And in that context, his reaction makes sense….