The time of year where I get really into hockey in the long drought of my waiting for baseball to begin (which will begin a little earlier for me this year as I’m flying out to spring training in March, which is going to be wonderful).
I watched the Sharks vs. Kings last night, and as usual, the Sharks look sharp but there’s still just a little something I don’t feel confident in. It’s like there’s a perpetual curse hanging over this team when it comes to big games. Joe Thornton skates so slowly now that it’s almost painful to watch, I believe this will be the last productive year we get out of Jumbo, who I believe is one of the greatest centers ever to don the ice. Patrick Marleau also doesn’t look nearly as spry as he used to. I remember the days when he could speed down ice so fast that the Flash wouldn’t be able to keep up with him.
Even with the aging stars, the Sharks still look pretty solid. It’s odd to think of Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski as seasoned veterans, but they are, and they are almost as good as a combo as the aforementioned stars.
The loss to the Kings hurt last night. The offense couldn’t get anything going at all. The Kings looked like an all-star team against them. This frightens me because Quick is out, so goals should be a little easier to obtain, right?
I do understand that on the opposite end of the ice, the Sharks had two key injuries which really hurt the defense, most importantly Mar-Edouard Vlasic, but it wasn’t a goal scoring spree on the other side as much as the forwards being ineffective for the Sharks.
Not sure what to conclude yet, but it’s nearly certain the Sharks will make the playoffs, especially if their second half of the season holds up to the first. I was thankful to go to a game of the Stanley Cup last year, but as always, I’d like to see the Sharks win one.
Side questions: how did the Edmonton Oilers become a playoff team that’s scary? And why are the Columbus Blue Jackets toying with win-streak records? Is this real life?