|39-11-9, 87 points||24-27-9, 47 points
|1st in Western Conference
||14th in Western Conference
Principal Ed Rooney: Are you aware that Ferris does not have what we consider to be an exemplary attendance record?
Mrs. Bueller: Uh, no...
Rooney: He's been absent NINE TIMES.
Mrs. Bueller: Nine times???
Rooney: Niiiiiiiine tiiiiiiiiimes.
Imagine now that you're Mrs. Bueller, and I'm Ed Rooney on the phone, informing you of a previously unrealized God-awful truth while reenacting that immortal scene.
(waits patiently while Mrs. Bueller caps are put on....)
Principal do Mayo: Are you aware that the San Jose Sharks have been outshot in each of their last nine games?
FTF Crew: NINE GAMES???
Principal do Mayo: Niiiiiiiine gaaaaaaaames.
(damn - how did John Hughes do it?)
It's true = the San Jose Sharks haven't outshot a team since January 18, when they bitch-slapped Calgary on the scoreboard to the tune of 9-1. Why the hell aren't we more upset by this? Has it even been mentioned in the media?
Oh. That's right = we've gone 7-1-1 in that span. Funny what 15 points in the standings will do to satiate your fandom in the wake of less-than-inspiring play.
Also placating - the Sharks have won nine straight road victories dating from December 21. No small feat indeed, and far be it from me to take it away from them. But back to the point - and winning be damned - what on earth is the #1 team in the West doing getting outshot NINE GAMES IN A ROW? Something's rotten in Denmark.
Take the Toronto game (yes I was there, that's another post for another time) - we spent most of the first period buried in our defensive end, and paid for it with a goal against. There was an overabundance of sustained pressure, just not from where you'd expect it. Giguere was damn right when he said that Toronto was the better team that night (a shame he let in two soft goals... ahem).
Sustained. Can we sustain playing like this, where our larger-than-life cast of characters (most notably Evgeni Nabokov) steal victories despite getting vastly outplayed? Can we play more often like we did against Calgary, when we were the ones bringing the passion and the fury? Is the sky crashing down upon us?
The answer to at least one of these questions is no.
Tonight probably won't be as easy as we once might have expected. Just like in Toronto, we'll be competing against a team that's gotten a facelift, with all the perky benefits therein. Interim coach Claude Noel has guided the Blue Jackets to two straight victories in the wake of the Ken Hitchcock firing, including a 4-0 shutout of Buffalo (although it was Lalime and not Miller in net). Those consecutive victories were the BJs' first since October 10. Columbus may sit in 14th place, but that's only 10 points out of a playoff spot (translation - 8 points behind Detroit). For those that say it can't be done, I have two words for you = Bruce. Boudreau.
Prediction = Sharks outshoot the Blue Jackets, while Greiss backstops us honorably. At least one of those records mentioned earlier stops at nine tonight.
Hopefully it's just the dubious one. Go Sharks.