The Sharks are ruining everyones time.
Danny Heatley is a dog. His shooting percentage in the regular season is always in the double digits (averages 15.2%); in the playoffs, all but one time it has been below, and he even sports a healthy 0 percent shooting in four games with the Senators (he averages 6.6% in the real season).
Whats more, he goes from being historically a plus player in the regular season to a minus player when the playoffs roll around. Which says something, we think.
We went to behindthenet to see if we could peep anything that jumps out in the numbers, and it was pointless. It was pointless because it immediately becomes obvious, from looking at the Vancouver numbers compared to the San Jose numbers, which team is winning this series.
So we switched tracks. The San Jose Sharks are no doubt a good hockey team. They are losing by margins that are, at least in our minds, no way indicative of talent difference between the two teams. The coaching difference, the mental difference, yeah, but not the pure hockey talent difference between the two teams.
The numbers say Vancouver was head and shoulders the best team in the league this year; they scored the most goals and let in the fewest, which is pretty much ideal over a long season. But does anybody look at this team and think 'historically great'? No.
We all look at them and think they can be beat, right? We do. The defence is solid, but it isn't spectacular. It has players on it that can be attacked. The goalie? Roberto Luongo is Roman Cechmanek; we aren't supposed to say anything because he is Canadian, but he is. And does anybody really trust the twins?
What we have been looking at is a real good power play on behalf of Vancouver. Conversely, we are looking at a really stupid and flustered San Jose team.
Anyways, why are we bringing this up? Well, again, look at the Sharks. Winning is hard. The Sharks have been this uber talented team for at least five seasons now. They haven't won the Cup. Maybe it takes more than pure talent.
It looks to us, in San Jose's case, there is a lack of group cohesion. For whatever reason. We are not in that locker room, we don't know. But when we see Thornton praising the play of Ben Eager for losing them a hockey game and suggesting that if only the rest of the team came to play with the same amount of fire they would be in an ok position, it makes one wonder about the cohesiveness of the group. And you all know we chill with Sun Tzu. The cat is big on the concept, if you didn't know.
If we were to guess, it's that dog Heatley. That is who Thornton was talking about. But whatever, enough of this psychoanalysis at 30,000 feet. The real reason we bring up the Sharks is this: Which team would you rather have, our team, or theirs?
We think that for most of the people who watch this team, the conclusion has been reached that the team lacks talent. This may or may not be correct, as bounces and luck and the favour of the Hockey Gods no doubt play a big role over fate of a team over a season. And the Flames keep missing the playoffs by a couple of points, so the argument can certainly be made that if the puck bounced a different way the Flames may indeed not have missed the playoffs for two straight years.
It's not necessarily a conclusion we endorse because the point of being a team that spends the maximum allowable under the current rules on payroll is to challenge for Stanley Cups, and not scratch and claw for the last available spot. But that's just us.
Anyways, would you rather be a team that is viewed as simply not having the talent to compete, or a team that is viewed as having the talent, but is full of 'no heart bums'?
We would rather be the latter option. The job of a sports team is to sell hope, right? The team with talent has the ability to sell hope. You will sit through a season of bad in game entertainment, and even worse food, if you think the team has a chance to one, win the game you are attending, and two, maybe has a chance to win a Stanley Cup.
But with the Flames? They have not sold us on hope yet. Let's say they do bring back Tanguay, so we would have both Tanguay and Glencross back in the fold. So? That is pretty much the same team we lost with last year, minus the threat of a shot from the point that Badsuck gave the team on the PP. Why, as informed fans, should we be excited about this? What has the team done to improve it's chances of actually winning?
Crickets. Nothing. Maybe we are being too harsh. It is only May. But this organization isn't even dropping hints to the fans about what it might do. There is no bravado, there is no 'don't worry guys, we will create cap space and then bring in some talent'. Instead, there is the trumpeting of the fact that it took the organization to go into full cater mode and get on it's knees to sign Curtis Glencross.
The Calgary Flames are charging pretty much top dollar (relative to other NHL teams) to see a hockey game, and they are in the habit of using duck tape to make repairs to the Saddledome? And you want us to give you like 250 million dollars for a new stadium? Why would we do that? You took shitty care of the last one we gave you.
Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.