Analysis has to be cold-blooded.
If you seek perfection you have to focus on what is wrong. Focusing attention on what is going well only leaves those short-comings to be exploited.
That is why during the San Jose Sharks best season in 2008-09—the only time I have ever picked them to win the Stanley Cup—I was the lone voice in the Sharks community here guarding against overconfidence.
When they were 4-0, I brought attention to problems in the San Jose Sharks game that ended up being their undoing by April. I continued to cite issues in March, when a President's Trophy was within their reach.
For this crime, I had my writing ability, intelligence, sanity and loyalty questioned. But it turns out that they were too caught up in their own success to even make it out of the first round.
I finally got a chance to address my concerns about overconfidence and a lack of passion directly with the team in the State of the Sharks query (unfortunately, it is more than 40 minutes into the video, but it opens in a new tab and should be cued by the time you are done reading this slide).
Sometimes pessimism is realism. The problems cited, then, remain to this day. Just like a coach (I know having been raised by one), if the message is not getting across, you try different methods of delivery and increased emphasis.
Eventually, you are wasting your breath. You have to change your approach entirely or people tune you out. Even though an increasing number of Sharks fans are in agreement with me these days, continually beating the same drum is tiresome for the one doing it, as well as the one listening.
A good analyst does not just look for things to work on when things are going well. Once there are more negatives than positives, one must find things to build on. With the Sharks two spots out of the playoffs and having just nine games left, here are six things I view as reasons for optimism...