Epic failure. Utter collapse. Total loss. These are the types of phrases used in the San Jose Shark fan base and it isn't anything new. The San Jose Sharks are a tremendously talented hockey team, but they aren't the reason why they continue to fail when the pressure is on. No that distinction for the disappointment falls upon certain individuals.
Evgeni Nabokov? Perhaps. He hasn't done anything in the past three years other than show the NHL that he simply cannot perform in the playoffs. Goaltenders must carry their team through those types of situations and he simply cannot. Let's just admit it and move on.
Is it Super Joe? You can argue that the big man isn't "mean" or doesn't shoot enough, but he's still one of the very best players in the NHL from a play making ability.
Could it be Patrick Marleau? An argument can be made there as well, and maybe Patty just isn't a captain type of player.
Could it be that management could be the problem? Trading away our depth and mortgaging young players for the "here-and-now" that never becomes "there-and-won". Bringing in the "grit" or adding more "sandpaper" doesn't make a difference and yet they continue to look for the mix.
Sadly, the problem truly isn't with the organization, the players or the management. Are you ready for the real answer? Do you know what's really wrong?
You, me, us the fan base as a whole is the real reason for this teams failure in the postseason. You change players, coaches, GM's, trainers, janitors and the mail boy and yet the outcome never changes. We are the ones making it comfortable enough for the stars to have no-trade clauses and a relaxed atmosphere despite their lack of heart and effort.
These guys simply do not care enough, and its time that the fans show it for the better of the team. Last years collapse against the Ducks showed me that not only can the Sharks not rise to the occasion, but that they didn't have enough heart to finish it out either.
"Our problem is not when fans are angry, its not when fans are happy. Our problem is when fans are indifferent, that is the true problem"
And quite frankly, I'm indifferent, numb, disinterested in this team's hopes in the playoffs. And only one thing did it for me, and that is the Ducks series last year and the manner in which our team played. Or didn't play would be the better term for the festering pile of crap for effort that the Sharks put forth.
To term it a better way for you to understand;
These guys quit.
Too many times during the series last year, I saw the body language and effort of a team that just couldn't wait to hit the shower. A team that didn't care enough to really want to win, to want to put forth the will to win. If these jokers can't care enough to play to win, then why should I watch them fail to care?
When you change pieces as much as the Sharks have, and their core players cannot bring the team a victory things must change. Is Heatley really the answer? He is for a certain the answer for a certain question. Is that question what the Sharks are asking? Time will tell.
I just cant bring myself to believe the loss of depth and defenders will help more than hurt this team. Rob Blake will be captain of this team and lead it to the promised land? Heatley wanted out of Ottawa for what reason, to bring a championship to San Jose? I have my doubts to say the very least. Do you think for one moment this team's failure would be tolerated in other cities?
This team cannot win with the general environment that permeates the organization. The feeling that no matter how bad the playoff failure, that nobody is going anywhere. We are comfortable here and expectations do not require fulfillment as it would in different NHL cities.
This "core group of players" or whatever you want to call it, doesn't give a darn.
I want to say it will be different, I want to say that this year is our year. But I've said it before haven't I? Last year, year before, before that, and so on and so on. I know all the excuses, and I know all the "reasons" why it's different for each of those years.
When really it isn't much different at all is it?
They still lose, and we still say : "Ah shucks...maybe next year"
If you care enough then prove me wrong Sharks, until you do however this is one fan who won't feel a thing come April.
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