Hey everyone! This is my first post to Fear The Fin, and I am very much looking forward to being able to share my thoughts throughout the season. A little bit about me: My name is Anthony, I am 23 years old and I live in Dallas, TX. I am originally from the Bay Area and will be moving back there at some point in the future. I have been a Sharks fan since I can remember and love nothing more than setting down to watch a game and listening to Randy and Drew commentate it (aside from actually going to the tank to watch a game). Anyway living in Dallas and being a Sharks fan is not the easiest to do, given that 50% of the people in Dallas have no clue what hockey is, and the other 50% hate the Sharks. However, through all the boos and jeers, I continue to wear my Sharks jerseys in the unbelievable heat (We had 39 days of 100+ degree heat in a row) just to prove a point to these bandwagon, fickle Dallas fans.
I have been looking forward to this season since,well, since our season ended. It was frustrating to once again see the Sharks not find whatever it is that they need to get to the cup. Having said that, making the conference finals two years in a row is no small feat. I think obviously our most glaring issue was our defense. Just like most followers on this site is was not happy with Nick Wallin at all. I have heard that he is a great locker room guy and I can appreciate that value, but fact is, is that he was slow as molases on the ice. For such a big guy he didn't pack much punch in his physical game and aside from the random flashes of carrying the puck deep into the offensive zone he brought almost nothing in that sense. Also with the loss of Demers it took that much more away from our transition game which had not produced the entire series with the Canucks. Although the defense was a huge issue for us i have seen another issue that is almost as harmful as the D problem. When Joe Thornton came to the sharks in the 05/06 season he was sensational. Since then he has been nothing short of that season after season. Weather he is winning the Art Ross or not he is an invaluable star player. The biggest difference I see between the 05/06 team and the other teams we have iced since is that in 05/06 every single player was just standing there watching Thornton on the half boards and waiting for him to do something. I was amazed at the time and space other teams gave him. It allowed every other player to take advantage of the situation and get themselves into position to be a passing target. Now Joe Thornton's game has obviously changed, especially last year, but the issue isnt with Thornton. The issue is that i feel that we don't really have anyone making the other team focus on them. Especially last year, we had spread our talent across three lines but in the end of the playoffs we could not keep them rolling. Since 05/06 we have not had a line that was "scary" (although Couture and Clowe are close) enough for the other team to think, oh crap here they come i bet there going to score. I am not sure how to get back to this point. I am very optimistic about a Marleau-Thornton-Pavelski line, and following that up with Clowe-Couture-Havlat, and not to mention the fact that with our D Corps lokking like Boyle/Murray, Burns/Vlassic, and Demers/White I have a feeling that our offensive and defensive sides of the puck will be extremely solid. However I would love to see teams react like they did 05/06, although I know it probably wont happen as the rest of the teams have become much better and much more competitive just as the sharks have. Anyway I digress, the fact is that this season should awesome as we have many new players that I look forward to seeing in action.
Well that's all for right now. Thanks for reading. I will post a fanshot that talks about the difference between watching games at the Shark Tank vs. watching them at the American Airlines Center.