My track record for analyzing teams correctly and predicting their play isn’t what you would call “great”, “good”, or even “close”. As the Hockey Doggz and I discussed on last week’s podcast I am 0-for-2, batting a solid .000. When I put my thought’s on the internet something strange happens. Not only is what I have written proven wrong almost immediately, but the teams I discuss rip shit up for the next couple of weeks, leaving me feeling very strange and somewhat powerful.
On February 15th, I said that the Coyotes suck, and play boring hockey. At that point in the month they were 5-0-1 and after my post they won 6 more in a row. On January 12th the Pittsburgh Penguins had lost 6 straight games, Kris Letang, and Jordan Staal. I thought they were gonna blow it, but little did I know Evgeni Malkin would go literally insane on the ice and become the front-runner for the Hart Trophy. After that post (as much as I hate to say it) he went into “beast-mode” and in the 26 games since, he’s been held pointless in only 5.
There are two conclusions you can come to when presented with these facts:
- I’m an idiot
- I have super powers
The former may or may not be true, but the latter…Well I have a little experiment to test #2’s credibility and I am going to carry it out right…NOW!
The San Jose Sharkies started this season with the highest of hopes. They traded away one of their biggest names in the under-achieving Dany Heatley and one of their up-and-comers in Devin Setoguchi to the Minnesota Wild, getting Marin Havlat and Brent Burns in return. Adding this kind of depth would bolster their second line scoring as well as their defense in turn making them a better all around squad.
Well, that’s not quite how it’s worked.
Brent Burns has looked pretty good. He’s not on pace to beat any career highs or anything, but he’s been pretty solid defensively and has been able to light the lamp a few times. Martin Havlat on the other hand has been a total bust. The oft-injured right-winger is up to his old tricks of, well…being injured. He missed the first couple of Sharks games with an upper-body injury and he’s been out for 30-something games because of this:
Seriously Marty? How long have you been skating? How long have you been jumping over the boards onto the ice? Embarrassing.
So the new guys haven’t helped out too much. But what about the veterans who have gotten the Sharks to the playoffs 12 of the last 13 years? What about the young guys who have done so well for them over the past few seasons?
Plain and simple, they’re just not getting it done. Gone it seems are the 60+ point seasons for Patrick Marleau, the 80+ point seasons for Joe Thornton. Out of all scorers in the NHL, the highest ranked player wearing teal & white is Thornton at #20 with 62 points. Marleau and Logan Couture are tied for 46th with 53 points.
The Sharks now sit 11th in the Western Conference with 75 points. They are one point away from a 4-way tie for the 8th spot and could be in sole possession of it with a win tonight over Edmonton. But that’s only if Colorado loses to the Ducks. The Sharks have painted themselves into a corner, and I’m not too convinced they can jump the 10ft of painted floor (who paints a floor by the way?) back into the playoffs.
Now, let’s see which of my powers reigns supreme: my Nostradamus-like powers of prediction, or my power to make the future the opposite of what I write in my undisciplined and inconsistent blog posts.