No, not the angst that comes with a 2-6-1 roadie. And not even the literal pain that Todd McLellan is dealing with after getting smacked with a stick early in the second period.
Because of on top of all that, on top of the fact they’ve been on the road since before Valentine’s Day, the Sharks are not flying home as planned tonight.
Mechanical trouble grounded their charter plane and they’ve all been brought back to their usual hotel in St. Paul, which luckily had not filled the necessary 40 or 50 rooms.
How about those Sharks?
Two losses to end the nasty 9 game road trip; they had a chance to turn this trip into a mediocre one, and ended up turning it into a disaster. You now have to look at this team and seriously think “given how the western conference is playing out, they could miss the playoffs”.
I can’t figure out why. the word being used by the team and players is “fragile”, and that’s true — when a mistake happens or a bad bounce, this team freaks out a bit, and suddenly they’re down a couple of goals. Niemi is off, can’t find his game; at least Griess seems to be stopping the stoppable goals.
I don’t know why this team is like this. The core players haven’t been like this in the past. They haven’t tuned out the coaches, they aren’t pissed at the GM, they are playing hard — just not playing smart. They seem (mostly) to play late parts of the game hard and intense, it’s starts that are killing them. Or in Minnesota, a good start, but they had about 3 minutes in the third where they gave up a couple of goals. They don’t play 60 minutes of good hockey, and playing 45 minutes kills in this league.
I said earlier in the week I expected Wilson to make a trade to shake up the chemistry. I’m more convinced now something needs to be done. The scary thing is that I’m not sure the coach or GM knows why things are off, or how to fix it. The players definitely don’t — they seem mystified as to why they’re this way. It’s not lack of interest or effort. It’s lack of sharp focus and execution. And that’s not necessarily easy to fix.
Maybe a shinto priest for an exorcism. If things weren’t bad enough, tonight the coach gets brained by a stick and knocked out (thank god is wasn’t WORSE than that, but there were five minutes there when I was wondering if this team had stressed him into a heart attack), and now, the plane breaks, and they can’t even get home until tomorrow. So even the hockey gods seem pissed at the Sharks right now.
Laurie turned to me tonight and said “I am so glad we don’t have season tickets this year, because if we were paying $100 a seat to watch this hockey, I’d be really pissed”. And she’s right. I miss the folks we used to sit around; I don’t miss dragging my butt to the arena 35 times a year and all of the disruptions that imply — and I don’t miss being in the arena for the games. I do still love the team and the game, but I’m really enjoying being able to not worry about it until game time, turning on the TV, and if they mess it up, pulling out a book or the iPad and multitasking around it… And the way they’re playing hockey this year makes that decision seem even smarter….
In any event, the road trip is done. Well, the last road game is done for this trip. hopefully the team can get home. Unfortunately, they haven’t shown that “home” is a fix of this, either…
And now, to the trade deadline. I wonder who won’t be in teal on Tuesday…