San Jose Sharks – Stop Pissing Me Off!

For the second time in this year’s NHL playoffs, a team has managed to erase a 3-0 series lead. In round 1 action, the Chicago Blackhawks came back after being down 3-0 to the Vancouver Canucks but fell short in Game 7 losing in overtime. In round 2, the Detroit Red Wings skated to a 3-1 victory against the San Jose Sharks in game 6 on Tuesday to force a game 7. The teams will play the deciding game on Thursday.

Don't worry Joe, it's not all your fault...oh wait.

I have no particular interest in this series except that I picked the Sharks to win the series in my office hockey pool. I had them to win in six games – so I’m especially pissed off.

How does this team constantly suck me in to believing that this is the year they’re going to do something and go somewhere? Actually, to be fair to me, it’s not like I had them winning the Stanley Cup, I simply had them winning they’re second round series.

This series against Detroit has shown us a lot. A lot of the same old stuff from the San Jose Sharks. A team that shot out to a 3-0 series lead against the Wings only to have problems closing it out. Game 4, that’s a Detroit win. But the Sharks lead in the third period of both games 5 and 6 and still couldn’t play the full 60 minutes to move onto the conference finals.

When I think of clutch athletes, I can’t help but think of greats like Mark Messier and Michael Jordan. One guy I don’t think of is Joe Thornton. I know this isn’t exactly news and I’m not the first person to discover that Joe Thornton doesn’t do well in the playoffs but I want to take this one step further.

Scoring in the playoffs is tough, it doesn’t happen all the time. Especially for a pass-first type player like Thornton so I don’t mind giving him a free-pass on the lack of production. Players should, or they should at least have a coaching staff that reminds them that when you’re having problems around the net, you better do a lot of the other things better than ever. Unfortunately for Thornton, the rest of his game looks terrible.

Joe Thornton got his butt kicked in the face-off circle when it counted the most in Wednesday’s game. I actually don’t know what his percentage was all I know is he managed to lose three consecutive offensive zone face-offs. Unacceptable.

Then, with the Sharks down by one and on a power play with less than 7 minutes remaining in the game, Thornton deflected a shot from the point with a high-stick. Granted, Brad Stuart did touch the puck immediately after and the play was mistakenly blown down. Still, why would Thornton swing his stick at the high shot? If he does deflect it in, it doesn’t count. I truly believe this is a perfect example of a player simply not being that into the game.

Then, as the Sharks finally manage to get the puck across Detroit’s blue line in the final handful of minutes, Thornton insisted on taking the 45′ slapper with four Sharks players standing on the blue line. Does Thornton even know how to take a slap shot? I have never seen him score with one so why would he suddenly think he could pull it off now?

I don’t even want to dwell on the three errant passes Thornton made in the final minutes or the puck “hopping” over his stick while setting up on the half boards. Again, these are the types of things that happen to a player that’s just not completely there.

In my opinion, this is the exact problem with the San Jose Sharks. When things don’t go well, they make things very complicated and difficult instead of just making sure they take care of the simple things.

This may seem a bit harsh but come playoff time, only Dallas “the irrational hockey fan” enjoys watching hockey (finally giving a bit of a break to Dallas “the amazing husband” and Dallas “the humanitarian”). I’ll be the first to admit that should the Sharks succeed in game 7 on Thursday, all will be forgiven. So, Joe Thornton and the rest of the San Jose Sharks, STOP PISSING ME OFF AND WIN!

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3 responses to “San Jose Sharks – Stop Pissing Me Off!

  1. Hey it’s not all Joe ‘Playoffs’ Thornton fault, didn’t you hear Roenick’s take on Marleau?

  2. I think the Sharks as a whole team need to take the blame on this one. I’d go a step further and actually say that Detroit has looked like they just want to win more than the Sharks do.

    I think the Sharks are too busy focusing on what the Wings are doing and not what they are doing themselves. Regardless, Game #7 is going to be crazy good to watch.

  3. Couldn’t agree more with both comments.

    @Angry Sports Mascot – I completely agree that a) the Wings wanted the game more; and b) the Sharks were no longer interested in playing their game, they simply looked like they were in survival mode. This is my problem with the Sharks and Joe Thornton: this group just seems to become disinterested when the going gets tough. When things don’t go well for them, rather than getting back to the simpler things in hockey, they all just lose their heads. Very frustrating that, I guess with the exception of the Setagouchi (how do you spell that!) chance, they really didn’t put up a fight in the final 5 minutes.

    @Ryan Karhut – It’s not all on Joe but I expect a lot more from the guy who wears a “C”. If Thornton had the kind of drive a guy like Jonathon Toews has, he would have won four Stanley Cups already.

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