Sharks Gameday: Hurricane of Emotion

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7:30 PST
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2-2-0, 4 points 1-1-1, 3 points
11th in Eastern Conference
13th in Western Conference

Television
CSN-CA
Radio
98.5 KFOX, Sjsharks.com
Antagonists
Canes Country



When you take the games in Sweden out of the equation, the beginning of this season reminds me of the beginning of last season, especially from a fan confidence perspective. Coming off a summer where few team needs were addressed, the Sharks opened with a stinker of a game, losing 5-2 to an obviously inferior Colorado Avalanche team. The defense looked slow, the goal tending looked sloppy, and the offense which was billed as one of the best in the league couldn't convert on their opportunities. People were calling for blood.

Problem is, you can't take those games (and the travel involved) out of the equation. Luckily,the Sharks grabbed three out of a possible four points. Unluckily, the travel and gap between games obviously affected the team.

It was to be expected that the Sharks would be a bit slow heading into the game against Atlanta. They were, and it resulted in a loss. But, just like last year, no one should be jumping off the boat just yet. It's not a sinking ship.

There's a bit of a disconnect between the fans and the team right now, a direct result of the trip to Sweden and the funky game times. Not many were able to see an offense which was running on all cylinders abroad, and a defence which looked serviceable, at least. Yes, there are problems. No, they aren't major.

Give this team a little bit of time to adjust, and look around the league at some of the other elite organizations. Of them all, only Detroit and Washington are living up to the early season expectations. Also, remember that everyone ahead of the Sharks in the Western Conference has at least a game in hand on San Jose before tonight's games.

Let's calm down and watch this team grow a bit. That game against Atlanta was one that should have been won, but I'll give the team a pass for now. Tonight's tilt against Carolina is a should win game as well, and I'd expect the team to play accordingly.

Prediction: Sharks win 4-1. Goals by Dany Heatley (x2), Logan Couture and Devin Setoguchi. Joe Thornton with 3 assists, Antero Niittymaki with the win.

Go Sharks.

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