Mar 8, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic (44) and center Joe Thornton (19) celebrate the goal by center Joe Pavelski (8) during the third period against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. The Stars won 4-3 in the overtime shootout. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE
Great article from Jason Botchford of The Province, who looks at the issues afflicting the Canucks right now:
But first, some history. The Bruins are hardly the only champion to suffer from motivational issues in February or March.
The Hawks lost eight of 11 in March before winning it all. Nearly the same story for Sidney Crosby's Penguins. They lost 7 of 11 in February, then won it all.
The Red Wings most-recent cup team lost 10 of 11 in February. And the Anaheim Ducks may be the best example of all, losing 17 of 25 in an ugly, post all-star performance that was forgotten by the time they hoisted the cup in June.
There's a few notable differences between the majority of these examples and the Sharks current slide of course, namely in where those teams were on March 9th of their Cup winning year-- the Bruins were 12 points ahead of the 9 seed in 2011, the Hawks were 17 points up in 2010, and the Red Wings were 18 points up in 2008.
Also, with all due respect to Mr. Botford, I think he may have accidentally miscalculated the numbers on Anaheim-- by my count they went 18-14 after the All-Star Break during their Cup winning year in 2007, and while that's no sterling record, it's a far cry from losing 17 of 25. They were also 25 points ahead of the 9 seed on March 9 of that year.
In other words, those teams were pretty cozy.
So really what we're left with is Pittsburgh in 2009 (tied for 8th with 76 points) as the example to remember when we think of going all Abraham during Saturday's game against Phoenix in a last ditch attempt to appease the hockey gods.
In case you haven't heard, that game is looking like it will be quite important.