Saturday, October 27, 2007

Blue Jackets 2, Sharks 1

It has gotten to the point where "It's early" is no longer a palatable excuse.

The Sharks have suffered a weekend from hell with losses to Detroit and, earlier today, the Blue Jackets. The consecutive losses mark the Sharks' first losing streak of the season and serve to further underscore how dissapointing this young season has been, with San Jose having compiled a mediocre 5-5-1 record through 11 games. Perhaps most embarassing is the fact that the Sharks hit the net just 28 times in their back-to-back defeats.

To give credit where credit is due, however, the Blue Jackets definitely look like a team on the upswing with a legitimate chance to qualify for their first ever postseason berth. They have thoroughly bought in to Ken Hitchcock's conservative system and Rick Nash looks more like a superstar now than he did when he lead the league in goals during the 03-04 campaign.

Of course, that isn't to make excuses for the Sharks' lackluster play against Columbus. The supposedly high-powered offense is teetering precariously on the brink of anemic, with Patrick Marleau and Jonathan Cheechoo continuing to make as much of an impact on the scoresheet as Ron Wilson. And speaking of Wilson, the Sharks coach's constant shuffling of lines, as noted in a previous entry, seems to be compounding the Sharks' problems. With Dallas and Los Angeles winning tonight, the Sharks fall to third in the Pacific Division, well out of playoff positioning and Monday's tilt against the Stars has become as close to a must-win as it gets in October. Evgeni Nabokov, who had another excellent game against the Jackets, highlighted by a larcenous stop on David Vyborny, has been the team's lone bright spot and the reason the embarassing losses to Detroit and Columbus weren't downright humilating.

It's true that we have yet to approach Halloween, but with the Sharks' season quickly coming off the tracks, it's safe to say that it can no longer be considered "early."

1 comment:

GregSJ said...

Is it too early to jump on the fire Ron Wilson bandwagon?