I thought our Sharks had enough to make a serious run in the postseason. So for me to write a credible blog about this team I needed some help. There are certain people I talk to all the time during the NHL season. They are players, coaches, broadcasters and scouts. They are people who have been in the NHL for decades. Their knowledge of the league runs miles deep. They have enjoyed success at the highest level. In other words they are 'Hockey People'. Since the Sharks ouster from the playoffs, I've had several conversations with these respected individuals and here is their collective take on the team.
The Sharks are a dyslexic team. They are all 6'4" but they play like they are 4'6''.
The Sharks are the Atlanta Braves of the NHL. Great regular seasons but can't find another gear in the playoffs.
The Sharks lack determination, you just don't see it on a regular basis.
The players seem too comfortable in San Jose they are treated very well and nobody wants to get their hands dirty.
The Sharks lack depth, the 3rd and 4th lines don't scare anybody.
The Sharks have players that have the size, and skill to be better but they just aren't.
The Sharks have a group of real nice guys. Which is great in real life but not so great when you step on the ice.
All of the experts I talked to figure the Sharks have two choices. DO NOTHING and say to the players, "you figure it out." But to a man they think that option number two is the best- make dramatic changes and alter the culture of the team. Chemistry is really important and the best players have to have a little extra for a team to come together. In the opinion of these experts it seems like the Sharks have too many guys with the same personality. Too many guys who are on the same level emotionally.
As for who to trade, well that is up for debate. Many of you on the chat threads have been debating that for the last week. The Owners, Greg Jamison, Doug Wilson and Todd McLellan along with the rest of the Hockey Operations staff will debate trades and changes for the several weeks. I'll leave you with a warning one of my experts told me. He said, "there comes a point in every player's career where we (fans, pundits, scouts, coaches, etc.) stop seeing the qualities of that player and focus on his faults." That is a trap that can set an organization back.