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Old
01-08-2004, 02:24 PM
  #1
Jshibley
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random thread from an outsider

So last year you guys were suposed to be awesome, and ended up playing way below expections, you got rid of your star players and were expected to be only so-so this year and now have an early lead in the division race......the ducks although no-one thought they could do a repeat of last year, they were expected to be an improved team and at least make the playoffs, but now the chances of that seem highly unlikey.....wierd how that works.....what do you guys think is the reason the sharks are playing so well this year???

oh sorry for those who don't like outsiders on your board.....i didn't come here to troll just came for your thoughts.

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01-08-2004, 02:31 PM
  #2
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I don't think people were thinking the Sharks would do so-so but rather in the bottom 10 or bottom 5. What I think is making the Sharks successful is that the players have bought into Wilson's style of hockey which is to have every forward play both ends of the ice along with the there is no I in TEAM concept. But I am probably waaay off

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01-08-2004, 03:23 PM
  #3
Brokencow
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the sharks dont seem to have anyone thats really TERRIBLE. a lot of teams have a horrible 5-7th defense and i think there is a sharks advantage there. Also this team is fast, and in a trap system that helps a lot. Also the sharks 3rd and 4th lines are pretty decent compared to a lot of teams.

who knows, honestly im just making this up as i go along.

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Old
01-08-2004, 03:39 PM
  #4
Ender
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jshibley
oh sorry for those who don't like outsiders on your board.....i didn't come here to troll just came for your thoughts.
Outsiders are welcome, if you troll... well, lets not get into those details

The Sharks are feeding off of the Ducks losing j/k.

The Sharks have went along with Wilsons style of play, and its working, plus the only worry was the Sharks scoring, ya it's not as good as 2 years ago, but with Nabby & Toskala stoning the opposition, and the solid defense we just don't give up hardly any goals

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Old
01-08-2004, 05:15 PM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jshibley
So last year you guys were suposed to be awesome, and ended up playing way below expections, you got rid of your star players and were expected to be only so-so this year and now have an early lead in the division race......the ducks although no-one thought they could do a repeat of last year, they were expected to be an improved team and at least make the playoffs, but now the chances of that seem highly unlikey.....wierd how that works.....what do you guys think is the reason the sharks are playing so well this year???

oh sorry for those who don't like outsiders on your board.....i didn't come here to troll just came for your thoughts.

On reflection the situations would appear to be similar in that they both lost experienced scoring line forwards . Where they differ is that the Ducks players (Kariya, Oates) had good seasons and contributed to their playoff success. Selanne and Nolan had relatively poor seasons as did the Sharks as a whole so their was much more room to improve.
Add to that that the Sharks new players (McCauley, Dimitrakos, Cheechoo, etc)have a fair amount of talent and want to prove they belong in the NHL . That and the improvement in team speed have contributed to the rebound. i don't think anyone expected the Sharks to quite this well however.
I guess Prospal and Fedorov just haven't meshed with the rest of the Ducks. Both put up points last night and Fedorov scored a nice goal, if I remember correctly
Both teams have prospect depth so I expect both will be factors for years to come.

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Old
01-09-2004, 08:07 AM
  #6
Kevin Wey
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<B>Improvements from 2002-03</B>
Stability at Defense: Last season Brad Stuart missed significant time, Marcus Ragnarsson was traded, Dan McGillis acquired, Jeff Jillson beaten out by Jim Fahey and traded, Kyle McLaren acquired, all while Rob Davison and Jesse Fibiger came in late in the season due to injuries. Not to mention, Darryl Sutter and his predictable system had been replaced by a new coaching staff, the effect of which was most pronounced upon stalwart Mike Rathje. Only Scott Hannan could really lay claim to a solid complete season, uninterrupted by injury.

Ron Wilson: Coach who forms systems with the team he is given, not forcing a system upon a team. Given San Jose's offensive potential on paper, Wilson's system allows for more creativity.

Youngsters Step Up to Plate: After another difficult start, Patrick Marleau seems to have stepped up to the plate. Marco Sturm is on track and Jonathan Cheechoo has stepped up his game tremendously. One can only guess at what Milan Michalek might have done, given his physical and mental maturity at such a young age, and considerable talent.

Capitalizing on their Chances: Alyn McCauley, Nils Ekman and Wayne Primeau have all grabbed their opportunity in San Jose with both hands. McCauley finally has been given a true shot to be a second line center, Ekman has become a fixture on the second or third line and Wayne Primeau has proven the Matt Bradley trade did have some logic and has been a factor in allowing the Sharks to put Mike Ricci on the fourth line. Even Todd Harvey has responded to his new chance in San Jose, after being glossed over in training camp. I expect Harvey to remain up in San Jose the rest of the season unless San Jose regains full health at forward.

Fighting Presence: San Jose is no longer a pushover team. Scott Parker and Rob Davison provide instant vigilance, something the team lacked last season. (Davison also is a credible physical defensive defenseman who, like other young player, although in less spectacular ways, has stepped up to the plate.)

Plus, the goaltending glut has been solved for now, and San Jose has had relatively good health compared to most other NHL teams.

I know I expected San Jose to battle for the 7th or 8th play-off spot if they lived up to their potential. As it is, the Sharks top rivals in the Pacific (more important now with increased divisional play) have had problems. Phoenix has done all you can ask of that team really, but Dallas has been inconsistent, LA injury ravaged, and Anaheim coming back down to Earth, without Kariya, who was Mr. Duck. (His time in Colorado has been worse than Anaheim's plight though)

San Jose's only real threat, aside from unforeseen implosion, is that Dallas pulls it together. LA's injuries are out of their control at this point, and I can't see Anaheim pulling it together to take the Pacific. San Jose may win the Pacific by default. The major challenge will be the first round of the play-offs if they are indeed the 3rd seed.

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Old
01-09-2004, 02:02 PM
  #7
gruntsplatter
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Chemistry seems much better this year and all the info coming from the team really touts that as well.

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Old
01-09-2004, 08:10 PM
  #8
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Kevin and others have covered most all of this - I'll add:

- this season over last the team is playing the Wilsons
system much better to a player. Last season they were inconsistant
and some nites would look great others would look like pee wees
with missed assignments in our end, etc. Don't underestimate how much
the significance of Wilsons first training camp with the team and the
time this allowed to finish what he started last year. The system
the Sharks play really favors the talents of the players on the team, that
being several players with speed and skill respectively. The speed and
puck control game fits this team well!

-Early last season the team had new ownership and there is/was speculation around the team the salary total needed to go down. Several players may have had the impression early on last year that
they would not finish the season with the team. Anyway the team
and players are past this.

-The team is playing for themselves this season. Last year
they were not playing for Sutter or anyone *and* the poor start in combination with this other stuff set the tone for the season. They could not pull out of it.

- I have to say that the pacific division is very competitive and some
teams are willing to make changes to win. Some also allow expensive players to leave. This has worked for the sharks but not for the Ducks
or Stars to date. Things are looking very good right now for the Sharks
and a playoff spot appears to be a sure thing they way they are playing. Where they finish will depend on if the Stars or another team gets hot the last half.

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