I remember a time when I got excited for a Sharks-Wild game. I started following the Sharks regularly in the 2009-10 season (the first year I could afford NHL Gamecenter Live in L.A.) and The Trade after the 2011 season struck a chord. Devin Setoguchi was one of my favorite Sharks, despite his game being wildly inconsistent. My brother and I had Heatley jerseys (a well-meaning, but brutal gift from a family member) -- this was the first time we had to see two of our favorite Sharks shipped out.
Fast forward two years and the trade sure has worked out for the Sharks as Setoguchi has been sent to toil in Winnipeg and Heatley's career appears to be tailspinning out of control. Meanwhile, Martin Havlat was never the guy we hoped he would be while Brent Burns is everything I hoped he would be and quite a bit more. The trade worked out for the Sharks, and hey, at least the Wild have Charlie Coyle, right?
The Sharks find themselves on a bit of a losing streak and now face their longest stretch of adversity of the season. Adversity, the dreaded a-word that gets dropped with reckless abandon my media and fans during a streak like this. Thankfully, the Sharks don't play in Toronto or Vancouver where the fans and media would be demanding blood at this point. Instead, let's remember that the Sharks, y'know, haven't played that poorly during this losing streak.
They absolutely dominated the Islanders on Tuesday night and were very unfortunate to not get a win. The same can be said of the Wild game last weekend, where the Sharks obliterated Minnesota in the first two periods before slipping a bit in the final frame. San Jose deserved to lose the games against the Penguins and Hurricanes, but their two most recent losses could have just as easily been wins on another night.
Losing sucks, but after the Sharks dominated a five-game homestand against a few of the best teams in the NHL, I can live with this. Something else that should be mentioned: The Sharks were third in the league in Fenwick (score close) before the losing streak and are now second. So, get your hands off the panic buttons, the Sharks are going to be just fine.
Except for Brad Stuart. He's probably not going to be fine. How is Konrad Abeltshauser doing?
|18-10-5, 41 points
||19-6-6, 44 points|
|3nd in Central
||3rd in Pacific
Projected Sharks Lineup
Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - Brent Burns
Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Joe Pavelski
Matt Nieto - Andrew Desjardins - Tommy Wingels
James Sheppard - Freddie Hamilton
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Matt Irwin - Dan Boyle
Scott Hannan - Jason Demers
Projected Wild Lineup
Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Jason Pominville
Dany Heatley - Charlie Coyle - Nino Niederreiter
Matt Cooke - Kyle Brodziak - Torrey Mitchell
Mike Rupp - Eric Haula - Justin Fontaine
Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin
Marco Scandella - Jared Spurgeon
Clayton Stoner - Keith Ballard