Today’s often magical NHL trade deadline has come and gone with the San Jose Sharks deciding to keep their roster as is. No folks, unfortunately there will be no Alexander Ovechkin-coming-to-San-Jose announcement (@#$%…again?!) nor have any new playoff mercenaries been retained today for the Stanley Cup run.
Though, as Doug Wilson put it during his press conference today, “That (a deadline move) was going to be predicated on performance [and] if we hadn’t started going in the right direction, we might have been more active…”
Doug Wilson likes to drop words like “predicated” the way I like to drop links to pictures of his daughter whenever the GM’s name is ever mentioned on Blades of Teal. Next time, I promise to go with vintage pics of Dougie in his perfect coif…next time…maybe.
Honestly, part of linking Lacey Wilson (aside from the obvious) is because it always makes me laugh to think of what Sharks roster player is lingering around Wilson’s office when Miss Massachusetts happens to be visiting ole Dad, the glare that the legendary former D man must give to said player and whether or not that’s the real reason Jamie McGinn isn’t around here anymore.
Pure speculation, but even Ginner might say schlepping around Worcester was well worth the price–he might be right.
Back to the Sharks squad, that “right direction” that Doug Wilson was talking about would be the 15 wins the San Jose Sharks have piled up over the last 18 games. During this season-saving run, they have been every bit the most lethal team in the West…and I don’t think even the Vancouver Canucks or Phoenix Coyotes would argue that assertion.
To their credit, the Sharks did not wait for the trade deadline to start making things happen on the roster side this season, picking up Ben Eager and Kyle Wellwood in January and trading for Ian White about 10 days ago. Add to that an official (and seemingly permanent) call up of Justin Braun to the big squad, and the Sharks have added four new players in just a little over a month.
Up next is some well deserved home cooking with the Colorado Avalanche coming to town on Tuesday, followed by the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. Thing is, that home cooking has gone down like soggy Brussels sprouts for much of the year, with the Sharks only a pedestrian 15-10-3 at the Tank.
That will need to change–over the last 19 games on the regular season schedule, San Jose will play 13 of those tilts at home.
Reviving that infamous HP Pavilion home ice advantage of years past just in time for the playoffs would be a wonderful addition to the already resurgent play of Antti Niemi and Devin Setoguchi. For his part Niemi has won 14 of his last 18 starts and produced a sub-2.0 GAA, while all The Sniperguchi has done is score 11 of his 18 goals over that stretch.
Yes, the deadline came and went quietly this year, and instead of adding more new blood, the Sharks will count on the continued improvement from their existing roster who have already made this San Jose Sharks team resemble an entire new squad versus the one at the start of the year.
The Sharks are finding their game at almost the very last minute, but with each successive win are making that soft, inconsistent team with the swiss cheese goaltending and lack of offense, harder and harder to even remember. They may have shared the same jerseys as that phantom team from earlier this year, but the team you will see tomorrow night (and hopefully for the rest of the year) might as well be from a different planet than the version you watched at the start of the season.
The current steamrolling version of the San Jose Sharks can win big, they can win small and close, they get bounces and they create their own luck. They are known to tie games late, sometimes give up late leads and then go get them right back and other times just blow a poor opposing team out of the building.
Bottomline, the Sharks are just winning.
Optimism has more than returned to the South Bay and it couldn’t be happening at a better time for the hopes of a team wanting to contend for the Stanley Cup…and for that of their loyal fans wishing big, flashy Tank decorations in their future.
Tags: Alexander Ovechkin Antti Niemi Ben Eager Colorado Avalanche Detroit Red Wings Devin Setoguchi Doug Wilson Ian White Jamie McGinn Justin Braun Kyle Wellwood Lacey Wilson NHL Phoenix Coyotes San Jose Sharks Vancouver Canucks