|9-9-6, 24 points||20-3-1, 41 points|
|4th in Northeast Division||1st in Pacific Division|
Ron Wilson. That name has so many different connotations doesn't it? For all intents and purposes it's synonymous with San Jose Sharks hockey, much like Chris Pronger's relationship to the Broadway musical STOMP.
Everyone (including your humble author) is really high on Todd McLellan right now. But remember we haven't gone to battle in the playoffs with the man. We haven't even gotten halfway through a season with him at the helm. Hell, we haven't even hit our first losing streak. Things have been smooth sailing. Carefree. The best start you could wish for.
From a fanbase point of view, you enter a game knowing what you're going to see- a team that skates and shoots the puck. There's no wondering which San Jose team is going to show up, no wondering what sort of barb is going to be thrown in the media following a loss.
Something we saw all too much the last few seasons.
But emotions aside (and there's going to be a fair share of them tonight) let us remember results. The following is Wilson's record for when he was the Sharks Head Coach for the entire season:
|2003-04||43||21||12||6||104||1st (from 5th yr before)||Lost Conf. Finals (CGY)|
|2005-06||44||27||N/A||11||99||2nd||Lost Conf. Semis (EDM)|
|2006-07||51||26||N/A||5||107||2nd||Lost Conf. Semis (DET)|
|2007-08||49||23||N/A||10||108||1st||Lost Conf. Semis (DAL)|
|Totals||187||97||12||32||418||N/A (Top 2 each yr.)||Heartbreak|
That's a helluva list. About 28 franchises would take that performance (including all the heart-wrenching second round losses) and give him a shot the next season.
So before the puck drops tonight, let's remember that Wilson is the winningest coach in Sharks history, that he was behind the bench when the Sharks became legitimate contenders for the Stanley Cup. Are we glad he's gone? Yes, it was time for a change. But should we forget what kind of success he brought to this fair city? Should we not show our gratitude for the man who sat behind the most successful period of Team Teal?
I hope The Tank can show due respect for our ex-coach tonight. He left on Doug Wilson's terms, not his own.
A standing ovation sounds just about right to me.
Prediction: Sharks win 4-1. Share any Wilson stories/opinions in the comments.