Head coaches and GMs, take notice.
If you are feeling a bit of heat under your seat, if reporters are asking more about when you plan on putting your house up for sale then your lineup, and if the players are laughing at you and saying things like “at least I'll be here next season”—the Sharks have given you a blue print to make sure those pink slips stays in the owners desk.
Courtesy of the Wilson boys.:
Step 1- Shore up your roster by picking up a needed physical presence (Jody Shelley), an offensive-minded defenseman who can quarterback an anemic power play (Brian Campbell), and grab an experienced netminder from the minor leagues (Brian Boucher) to back up your superhuman starting goalie.
Step 2- Stick with your guys, and they will reward you. Over the last month, for instance, Patrick Marleau has really turned it on. Marleau has scored six goals and notched three assists in the last 10 games, solidifying his line and proving why there is big “C” on his chest. Players respect those who battle through adversity.
Step 3- Win 11 straight games and lose none in regulation over the last month.
Its just that simple.
Unfortunately for both Ron and Doug Wilson, the good vibes the Sharks' recent stellar play has conjured will only last as long as San Jose's playoff run.
Fair or not, the San Jose Sharks are widely considered playoff disappointments. Annually considered cup Contenders, San Jose has repeatedly failed to live up to those lofty expectations, and when that happens change is usually made.
The cold reality of professional sports is that premier organizations compete for championships. The Sharks have become a premier organization in large part to the performance of their coach and GM, and have obviously battled from disappointment to contention, and they both deserve credit for that.
Their playoff record, though, is less than stellar. Inevitably, at some point a coach's and GM's job performance is based on their postseason production. They don't give out diamond-encrusted rings for doing well in the regular season.
I believe that both the Wilsons have more than proved their worth this season. Not that long ago the Sharks playoff chances weren't all that certain. They couldn't win at home, they couldn't score enough, they couldn't compete against the elite teams in their conference.
How quickly that has changed. The shrewd moves of GM Doug Wilson and steady hand of head coach Ron Wilson have once again moved the Sharks to the forefront of Stanley Cup contention.
That should count for something, regardless of how the Sharks' season ends. Too bad that it probably won't.