"We're either an efficient team that can be real effective, or we're inefficient and we lose games. So the next little bit will tell us what we really are." - Todd McLellan
The Blackhawks have beaten the Sharks twice this season, both in regulation.
The Blackhawks are the best team in the NHL with a record of 13-0-3 and can set the NHL record for the best start to a season if the Sharks don't win in regulation.
This Blackhawks are motivated, and rested, because they too haven't played since Tuesday.
Per McLellan's quote we'll get an idea of what the Sharks team is made of.
And clearly the Hawks are a better team right now and there is much work to be done with time to do it.
You beat the top team in their rink when they were rested and motivated which makes a statement that the Sharks are a team to be reckoned with.
There are certain losses that sting more than others. Losing to Chicago on a Friday night at the Madhouse on Madison by a score of 4-1, in a game the captain fought the other team's captain, won the fight and drew 4 minutes of PP time that was squandered ... stings.
I thought frustration and a loss of confidence was evident for the first time this year. While the media plays on the 7 up, 7 down roller coaster the players have to focus on playing for each other and beat a Blues team that has also been inconsistent this year.
The media can talk about the losing the streak but the Sharks need to come together to beat the team that ousted them in the playoffs last year - the gritty tough St. Louis Blues. This is a great opportunity for the team to end the slump and regain their confidence.
And so it goes ...
It's Feb 13. The Sharks have played 13 games. I used to wear #13. What does this mean?
Nothing! Zero! Zilch! And that's the problem right now, too many zeros. The Sharks have been shutout two of the last three games, but to their credit have earned a point each time because they too pitched shutouts, at least in regulation time.
The Sharks have scored 11 goals in eight games so it's not hard to figure out what needs to be done - score more goals. I'll say this, scoring woes now are not the end of the world… just ask the 2011-12 Los Angeles Kings.
The short, intense schedule will be a roller coaster the entire time. Enjoy the ride, even the bumpy parts because it's all part of the process of trying to make the playoffs and peak at the right time.
That's my thought for the day. Now I'm going to enjoy a slice of Chi-town.
A breakdown of Joe Pavelski's goal
A breakdown of Marc-Edouard Vlasic's goal
In 1994/95 I was playing for the Sharks when we played 48 games in a lockout shortened season. That year we played our first game on Jan 20 … sound familiar.
Here is what I remember and what I assume most of the players are thinking right now!
- The best time of year, from a player’s standpoint, is the playoffs. It’s adrenaline, intensity, passion and all of it maxed out. The NHL playoffs are awesome!
- A 48 game regular season against conference teams only, is like 3 months of playoffs, before the playoffs. Players know you have to get out to a great start, especially with the extra point for OT of shootout losses that was not around back when I played.
This and That
- The Worcester Sharks started the season 1-4-0-1 to start the season in their first 6 games. Since then the team 10-4-1 and have vaulted to 1st place in the Atlantic Division.
- It’s clearly a different era in pro sports and it has to do with the year round training athletes do in their teenage and college (Junior) years. Take a look at the NFL and the early success of quarterbacks Andrew Luck of the Colts and Robert Griffin III of the Redskins. Quarterback might be the toughest position to transition into but these guys are having incredible rookie years.
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