Taking a page out of the Toronto Maples Leafs‘ book, the San Jose Sharks released a statement Wednesday on their website expressing their disappointment and apologizing to their fans for season in which the hockey club fell short of completing its quest to win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
“The on-ice results of our team this season are not acceptable to our fans, our organization or our ownership group. We will not lower our expectation that every San Jose Sharks team we put on the ice is capable of winning the Stanley Cup. Despite the fact that our team has experienced a tremendous amount of success over the past eight seasons, we are not satisfied with those results and neither is Doug. The ownership group has confidence that Doug will make the necessary changes to ensure our club remains among the NHL’s elite franchises.”
The St. Louis Blues hosted the San Jose Sharks last Saturday in game five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Leading the series 3-1, the Blues wanted to do everything they could to move in to the second round in front of home fans. Despite the slow start and giving up a goal to Joe Thorton late in the second period, the Blues rallied in the third with Jamie Langenbrunner and David Perron scoring within 45 seconds of each other to gain the lead. Andy McDonald sealed the deal with an empty net goal in the final minute, and the Blues went on to win 3-1.
I’ve seen a lot of stuff in all my years of watching hockey, but San Jose Sharks forward Ryane Clowe showed me something I’ve never seen before during the Sharks game last night against the Los Angeles Kings.
Clowe was on the bench with about two minutes remaining in a tied game Thursday night when he stuck out his stick and knocked the puck away from Kings forward Jarret Stoll, disrupting a potential 3-on-2. Incredibly, none of the four on-ice officials noticed the play and Clowe was not given a penalty for his actions. And not only did Clowe’s bush-league move break up a potential odd-man rush for the Kings, but had a penalty actually been called, that would have given L.A., who was already on the power play at the time, a two-man advantage, greatly changing the complexion of the game.
It’s hard to believe that with just a little over two weeks left in the season, mathematically, there are still 14 of 15 teams in the West that can qualify for the playoffs (sorry, Columbus). With that being said, Edmonton doesn’t really have a prayer, neither does Minnesota. Anaheim, currently nine points out of the eighth and final playoff spot, is a long shot, but they would need a miracle contingent on several various factors going their way in order to still be playing hockey in April.
Essentially, that leaves five teams—all currently separated by three points—battling for two playoff spots. And at this point, nobody is willing to give an inch.
Owen Nolan knew this day was coming, he had just tried to delay it for as long as possible. That’s because he knew how tough it would be for him to walk away from the game he truly loves.
“I was very fortunate to play 18 seasons, 1,200 games in the League, and today I’m announcing my retirement,” an emotional Nolan said at a press conference Tuesday at HP Pavilion. ”I guess I’ve known this day was here for a while. When your body won’t do what your mind and your heart is willing to do, it’s time to move on. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I’ve had the opportunity to play with some great players and great teammates.”
After getting off to a disappointing 1-3 start in the 2011-12 season, the San Jose Sharks couldn’t wait to get out on the road.
But after a grueling, two-week, six-game road trip, the Sharks are finally happy to be sleeping in their own beds at night. The trip proved to be beneficial, however, as the Sharks won five in a row before dropping the final game of the trip to the New York Rangers.
After finally returning home for their game on Nov. 3 (their first home game since Oct. 17), the buzz around HP Pavilion was that the Sharks would somehow manage to find a way to struggle in front of the home crowd at HP Pavilion.
It may still be early, but prior to every new NHL season, a whole host of predictions are made before the puck drops. Naturally, many of these predictions, by both experts and fans alike, come up short. Quite often, not only do our Magic 8-balls fail us, but several surprises come out of nowhere, ultimately blowing our predictions out of the water. Here are a few of those early-season surprises.
Phil Kessel’s Hot Start
Phil Kessel is a good hockey player. Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke knew that when he traded away a first-round pick in the 2010 NHL draft (which ended up being Tyler Seguin) to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Kessel.
This is it. No more excuses. It’s put up or shut up time in San Jose, and that means the time to win the Stanley Cup is now.
Actually, if you ask most San Jose fans, Cup expectations have run rampant through San Jose for the last several seasons. However, despite winning five Pacific Division titles over the last seven seasons (four straight heading into 2012), the Sharks have nothing to show for their brilliant regular-season performances. The Sharks made it through to the Western Conference Finals the last two seasons, but they have yet to make it to the final dance.