My dearest Sharks,
I love you guys. I really do. But honestly, what the HELL was that?! During last night's playoff game, you all looked tired, bored, and overconfident. Put simply, you were totally outplayed by a Calgary Flames team who came out wanting it more. The Flames would come out on top, 3-2.
"Mediocre" doesn't even begin to describe the first two periods of last night's game. The only flash of brilliance came at the very end of the third period, when you all seemed to realize that you were about to lose. And while I appreciate the enthusiasm displayed in the last minute of the game, where the HELL was that kind of effort during the rest of the contest? HELLO?!?!?
Go hard for all sixty minutes. That's all I ask.
To the defense: This is not the time to get cute with passes. Clearly, players of Jarome Ignila's caliber will make you pay for mistakes and for mishandling the puck—he and Stephane Yelle made you all look baaaad.
I found myself asking at one point, "Who is that clown wearing #51 and what has he done with Brian Campbell?!" And Kyle McLaren, dear, sweet, kick-ass, hip-checking Kyle McLaren, I wouldn't be surprised if you found yourself in the press box tonight, having been replaced by the more capable Matt Carle. Now, I've never been a fan of Matt Carle (like, ever!), but I just called him more capable than you, and that is saying something.
Good morning, Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Jonathan Cheechoo and Milan Michalek! This is your wake up call. Last night's two goals came from Ryane Clowe. RYANE. CLOWE. Yes, the very same Ryane Clowe who had missed almost every game of the entire regular season due to reconstructive knee surgery.
If the Sharks are to have ANY sort of chance in this playoff series and beyond, you all need to show up and do what you're on the ice to do. Score. Thank goodness for the secondary support. Otherwise, last night's game would have been truly embarrassing.
Fortunately for you all, one game does not a playoff series make. Redemption is right around the corner. But you all need to play tougher, meaner, faster and harder than the Flames for the rest of the series—be the team that dominated the end of the regular season.
Yeah, those guys with the drive to win. Surely you remember them. Find them and drag them to HP Pavilion for Game Two tonight. Because if you can't find that sort of drive again, it's gonna be a REAL short series.
That said, I still believe this team can take it all the way. GO SHARKS!!