Monthly Archives: May 2007
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….
News – Sharks GM Looks Back On Playoff Exit – Forward To 07-08 – San Jose Sharks:
Most injuries are revealed when the playoffs conclude, as what happened with Marleauâ€™s shoulder, but others that came to light were sports hernias with Guerin, Smith, Vesa Toskala and Jonathan Cheechoo (a double).
â€œVesa could have played,â€ said Wilson. â€œ(With Cheechoo), they were shocked he was still playing. It is a simple procedure to fix.â€
TOUGH YEAR FOR BELL
Wilson did discuss the difficult season for Mark Bell who was talented offseason pickup, who then had some off-ice issues and then found himself a healthy scratch in the playoffs.
â€œMark got off on the wrong foot,â€ said Wilson. â€œHe didnâ€™t play the way he wanted and we didnâ€™t get what we wanted for him. Weâ€™re looking forward to getting back the hockey player he was before. I think he can be a really good hockey player (for us).â€
San Jose Mercury News – Sharks GM won’t guarantee coach’s return:
General manager Doug Wilson needed two weeks to calm down after the San Jose Sharks’ second-round exit from the playoffs, and he’s still not ready to make any quick decisions on the futures of his players and coaches.
Saying he’s “frustrated and disappointed” with the end of an otherwise successful season, Doug Wilson plans to decide by next week whether coach Ron Wilson will return to San Jose next season.
The general manager was at times both blunt and evasive Monday in a wide-ranging interview, his first since San Jose was eliminated by the Detroit Red Wings in six games two weeks ago.
Nice to see Doug Wilson isn’t standing firm.
Now, if he cares about what my suggestions are, they’re here:
Actually, we seem pretty close overall.
A couple of other comments:
The Sharks’ postseason collapse included Ron Wilson’s thinly veiled scolding for captain Patrick Marleau, who struggled throughout the Detroit series despite a reputation for strong postseason play. Marleau’s leadership skills are questioned repeatedly by fans who don’t see how the taciturn son of a Saskatchewan farmer can be an effective captain.
“I trust that dressing room,” Doug Wilson said. “I don’t micromanage. There will be conversations that will take place. We’ll handle it.”
the only difference between Patrick Marleau and Steve Yzerman is that Yzerman won a Cup, and that shut up the critics. Otherwise, they’re the same style of captain. Ditto, say, Trevor Linden or in Ottawa, Alfreddson. Now, that’s not saying that Marleau is going to match any of those guys in terms of success as a captain, but I will note that Alfredsson has JUST this year beaten the critics and made carried his team to the conference finals, and he’s got about a full season of games more than Marleau has.
Steve Yzerman joined the wings in 83-84, became captain in 86, and the wings didn’t make it to the cup final until 1994-95 and didn’t win the cup until 2 years later; that’s 862 games before they made the final, and about 1000 games before Yzerman finally won a Cup. In other words — Marleau’s not exactly doing badly compared to similar captains with similar styles and similar criticisms. Trevor Linden, FWIW, had the fastest track to the Cup final of all of these guys, getting there in about 550 games.
So, my suggestion to fans ripping Marleau: chill.
Doug Wilson understands fans’ concerns that the Sharks are turning into the West Coast version of the Ottawa Senators, who struggled through years of regular-season successes and playoff failures before finally breaking through to the Stanley Cup finals this year. The Sharks blew leads in three of their losses to Detroit, including a pair of two-goal margins.
You know what? If we’re the West’s “Ottawa”, that’s not bad. After all, their captain stepped it up this year and carried them into the final this year — and Marleau seems to be following that development path pretty well so far. What we don’t want to be is Buffalo, who (again) didn’t get the job done and now has the unfortunate job of figuring out what players they can afford to sign and how to reload around them. Buffalo’s key shot was this year, and now the chances they keep both Drury and Briere are pretty small, and they don’t have the track record of Detroit as far as reloading in place. The Sharks, thanks to smart budgeting and planning, aren’t at that point and look to have a couple more years with the core of the team together. We’re not worrying about how to keep Marleau and Thornton, we’re worrying about what to do to Mark Bell.
Oh, sorry. WITH Mark Bell, not TO. Freudian slip there.