Sharks Gameday: Schizophrenic Hockey



7:30 PM PST
2-6-1, 5 points 3-3-1, 7 points
15th in Eastern Conference
13th in Western Conference

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In Lou We Trust

As I am writing this, I took a peak at the NHL standings. As odd as it is to see the Sharks at the bottom of the Western Conference standings, it is just as odd to see the Devils at the bottom of the East. Since the lockout, we're used to seeing both teams at the top of their conference, as neither missed the playoffs.

But as inconsistent as Sharks have been playing at times, the Devils are playing worse. Just two wins in 9 games, -15 goal differential from a team that always boasted one of the stingiest defenses in the league, no wins at home, and a 7% power play while having the most dangerous man-advantage player in the league. They deserve the 30th spot in the NHL. With the ridiculous Ilya Kovalchuk contract negotiations saga that dragged on for most of the summer, no one is feeling bad for them. The team is in self-enforced salary cap hell, with very little they can do besides keep playing. Combine it with a new coach who was brilliant enough to bench their best player without explaining anyone else why - it is a real mess.

But lest we forget, the Sharks have zero wins at home and are 23rd overall. We've said enough about what the problems are, and there is no point rehashing all the main points once again. To put it simply, the team is playing schizophrenic hockey. They can be focused and fast in one game, and disinterested and disorganized in the next.  Both coaches and players are not hiding that they're hating this and need to reverse the bad trends the quicker, the better. This is a very different time from last March when the team had 7-game losing streak, and all we could barely hear any word of criticism from Todd McLellan. This time he's not mincing any words.

The Sharks struggles right now are somewhat offset by the success of San Francisco Giants who are playing the first game of the World Series tonight. But think about this - when was the last time in the history of mankind that a Russian was trying to find solace in a meaningless game of baseball?

The Sharks need a win as badly as the Giants tonight. So let's go both!

Prediction: Sharks win, 3-1 on a hat trick by Niclas Wallin.