Sharks Gameday: You Lost Me at Hello



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35-21-6, 74 points 31-23-8, 70 points
3rd in Western Conference
10th in Western Conference
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Matchsticks & Gasoline

A quick one today as I'm growing increasingly consumed with the idea that I am quite possibly the third version of myself.

The Sharks have hit a point in the season where I think it's fairly safe to say they've established themselves as legitimate contenders to advance to the Western Conference Finals for a second straight season. The team is clicking on every single cylinder imaginable right now, and with the vast majority of the roster staying healthy, those hopes have grown increasingly stronger.

I'm not sure how many here have seen the movie Primer, but it's probably the most intellectually stimulating film that I have ever seen. The film chronicles the exploits of Abe and Aaron, two engineers who accidentally stumble upon the discovery of time travel. Time travel isn't necessarily a new concept in cinema by any stretch of the imagination, but the breadth and scope of director (and producer, and writer, and leading actor, and composer, and editor) Shane Carruth's masterpiece breaks any preconceived notions one might have on the mechanics and magnitude of such an event, making it a film that should be a requirement for anyone who wishes to lose their grasp on reality for an hour and a half.

In short, and I should caution that this is only my personal theory and is by no means the correct interpretation of events, Abe and Aaron create a device that has an application they can't quite figure out. Abe figures out that this device is in fact a time-machine, and builds a larger version of it which he houses in a warehouse. Since time travel has it's limitations within the context of the film however, there's a catch-- when Abe travels back in time using the box and eventually re-emerges, another version of himself (the version of him that spent the last day doing whatever he was doing) exists at the same time. In essence, two Abe's exist on the same plain of time at once.

This can cause some issues of course, specifically in the realm of paradoxes. In order to avoid a nasty situation, Abe removes himself from society on the day before he goes time traveling. He holes up in a hotel, turns off his cell phone, and unplugs the television. He goes dark. This ensures that once he travels back in time to 9 AM, Abe2 (his former self) will do the exact same thing that he did, not be subjected to any outside variables, and eventually get back in the box again. If he was subjected to those outside variables (such as a phone call from his wife or something of that nature) there would be a possibility that Abe2 wouldn't get back into the box and travel back in time. If Abe2 fails to get back in the box, two Abe's now exist for the duration of both of their lives-- instead of a six hour window where they both exist, it would be years of co-existence. Which would obviously be an issue.

Now this is where things get tricky. Although Abe was the first to time travel, he realized that taking this huge step could cause some unforeseen circumstances. The time travel box works as such-- you can travel back in time for as long as the box has been running. In order to ensure that things don't get too muddied, Abe builds two sets of boxes-- a pair for him and Aaron that allow them to travel back six hours in time, and a master box that allows the user to travel back in time to before either of them ever time traveled. This allows Abe to control the situation to some degree, giving him the upper hand in the event Aaron decides to do something funny.

With all of this set, Abe shows Aaron the box, explains it's use, and proceeds to show Aaron Abe2 entering the warehouse where the time travel box is stored. Abe, who has already traveled back in time, explains to Aaron the specifics of the situation (remove yourself from society for six hours before you travel, don't interfere with your doubles etc.) and they climb in.

Things get even crazier from there of course-- initially the boys play the stock market and start making some money, but Aaron evidently gets suspicious of Abe and peeks around. He eventually finds the second box Abe has been storing (the master box, which has been running the entire time) and travels back in time to before either Abe or Aaron had ever time traveled. Since the plot of the film is non-linear in nature, there's a lot of insanity to be had in trying to piece it all together. I won't ruin it for those who haven't seen it of course, but to unveil something fairly basic, the Aaron we see from the start of the film could in fact be the second or third manifestation of Aaron due to the fact he used the master box before Abe did.

It's breathtakingly geeky, and utterly satisfying. It's a damn shame I didn't watch this film for the first time until last week considering it's been out since 2006, but I've made up for that to some degree by seeing it four times since then.

To tie it in with the Sharks, here's the question of the day-- if the Sharks were able to time travel back to the past and correct their mistakes this season would that be a worthwhile excursion? They can only travel back in time once, and that time travel would have to occur today.

For example, what if they had learned earlier in the year what kind of defensive responsibility it takes to win games in the NHL? Or how about blown third period leads? Would these lessons be of better use to them earlier in the year, or did that adversity and failure make them a better team now? The question isn't really one of the value of adversity-- if the Sharks do time travel they will have already undergone that adversity; the only difference is that they have a chance to apply those lessons to the past and present instead of just the present-- but rather a question of tangible failure.

In other words, adversity stays constant. The only thing that changes is the potential to change their record by applying those lessons from adversity earlier in the year.

So there you have it-- do losses on the schedule provide more value than the adversity associated with the losses, or does the adversity from those losses provide the only lesson that needs to be learned?

Prediction: ................?