BATS Day 1|Mon, Jun 21|05/06 @ 07/08 (Ru) & 00/01 @ 06/07 (Ha)
Game 1: Rusanowsky Pool
With a year off because of the NHL lock-out cancelling the 2004-2005 NHL season, the San Jose Sharks had the highest hopes and expectations that they had ever had in their history. A trip to the conference finals, Patrick Marleau establishing himself as a star player and Evgeni Nabokov showing his top form, everything seemed to be lining up for a Stanley Cup run. However, General Manager Doug Wilson, stating that the Sharks were built like the Tampa Bay Lightning and did not need to make any chances, did not add to a roster that lost veterans Mike Ricci, Vincent Damphousse, Mike Rathje, Jason Marshall, Curtis Brown and Alex Korolyuk. As a result, the Sharks sputtered early and often. However, a moment which altered the course of this history of the world would take place in mid November. Calling Boston GM O’Connell, Doug Wilson offered a swap of defenseman Brad Stuart, who was struggling, for streaky scoring winger Sergei Samsonov; however, O’Connell countered with super-star playmaker Joe Thornton for Stuart, Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau and Wilson could not pass that offer. With Joe Thornton leading the way and connecting with winger Jonathan Cheechoo, Thornton would win the MVP and scoring trophy with Cheechoo picking up the Rocket Richard trophy. Finishing the season with 99 points and a playoff birth, the Sharks faced the Nashville Predators and dispatched them in 5. Then, facing the Oilers, the Sharks took a 2-0 series lead only to see Dwayne Roloson steal games 3 and 4. The Sharks would lose in 6.
Changes abound for the Sharks to start this season. Mark Bell's disappointing year in teal in 06-07 would be his only one, as the team would force the Toronto Maple Leafs to take him in trade as part of the price for acquiring Vesa Toskala. With Toskala out of the picture it also meant that for the first time in several seasons Evgeni Nabokov would be the unquestioned starter, being backed up by young farmhand Dimitri Patzold. The team also signed Jeremy Roenick in the off-season, hoping that his energy and experience would help the team get over its problems with the post-season. And while deadline acquisition Craig Rivet would remain with the club for this year, Bill Guerin proved to be nothing more than a rental after his playoff no-show.
However things would not start very smoothly for the team. They would struggle to a barely .500 start through their first 10 games. However, as the season progressed, the team would get its act together and eventually climbed to the top of the Pacific Division and 2nd in the conference as their play steadily improved throughout the year.
Then, at the trade deadline, Doug Wilson acquired what was widely believed to be the missing piece of the puzzle, shipping out inconsistent young forward Steve Bernier as part of the trade for slick puck-moving d-man Brian Campbell. Campbell's impact would immediately be felt, as he wowed the crowd in his first home game at HP Pavilion and would finish up the season with a streak of 20 games without suffering a regulation loss (18-0-2) as well as a deserved Vezina nomination for Evgeni Nabokov.
In the 1st round of the playoffs, the team would encounter some tough resistence from the Calgary flames, dropping the 1st game and blowing a 3-0 lead in game 3 to lose 4-3. However, after these struggles the team would pull together, and with some post-season heroics out of Jeremy Roenick, the team would come back to take the series in seven games and move on to play Dallas in the 2nd round. While Joe Pavelski would give fans a hint of cluth performances to come with an OT winner, the team just never seemed invested in this series and would eventually bow out in 6 games.
"Do you know what "nemesis" means? A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent."
Sorry, I am not taking signature requests at this time.
2000-01 Recap This season was the first big step forward for the franchise. They finished with a then-record 95 points, and for the first time in team history were better than the 7th or 8th seed in the conference. Getting them there was a stellar season from eventual Calder Trophy winning goalie Evgeni Nabokov. Nabokov would end up taking over for Steve Shields early in the year and would go on to backstop the team for the rest of the season and the playoffs while putting up very un-rookie like numbers. In fact, Nabokov's play would lead the Sharks to be able to make a blockbuster trade mid-season, as they would send Shields along with Jeff Friesen to SoCal rival Anaheim in exchange for Teemu Selanne. It was hoped that Selanne's offensive prowess would work well with the Sharks core players (Nolan, Marleau, Damphousse, Ricci, etc) in orderto help them get over the playoff hum. And things looked good from teh start, as in the final 12 games of teh season the Finnish Flash scored 13 points.
But not everything went right for San Jose once the playoffs started. They would find themselves facing the very same St. Louis squad that they upset in the previous year, and this time the Blues would refuse to let themselves get outmatched by the Sharks. in the end even a hot rookie goalie and new elite sniper wouldn't be enough to overcome the Blues, and San Jose would bow out in 6 games.
Big things were expected of the Sharks this year. Joe Thornton had his first full year in teal, Jonathan Cheechoo had established himself as a a premiere sniper after winning the Richard trophy with a 56 goal season, and Doug Wilson had seemingly acquired the perfect complimentary piece by participating in a 3-way trade with Ottawa and Chicago that saw the Sharks give up scoring d-man Tom Preissing and prospect Josh Hennessey in exchange for Mark Bell. Bell was a powerful scoring winger with the Hawks who was coming off of a 25-goal season in Chicago, ans showed signs of evolving into the kind of big, physical, space-creating force who would compliment Thornton and Cheechoo on the top line.
Unfortunately, the jubilation of acquiring Bell was quickly replaced with concern when in early September in California, Bell was involved in a car accident and subsequently charged with felony hit and run as well as DUI. While legal proceedings would drag on throughout the season and not prevent Bell from playing, the cloud would hang over him the whole time and he would never find his groove with the Sharks. He would quickly slide down the depth chart, going from 1st line duty to 4th line duty to part-time scratch. By season's end, Bell would only have 21 points in 71 games, his worst total in the NHL outside of a 13-game stint as a rookie in 00-01.
But aside from the Bell fiasco, the Sharks were very solid to begin the season. They started the season 20-7-0. However as the season wore on, injuries and inconsistency began to take its toll. In December the team would finish with a .500 record (going 7-7-0) which included losing 3 straight right at the tail end of the month capped of by the infamous "Coyote Ugly" game in which a woeful Phoenix squad (who would finish the year 40 points behind San Jose) would decimate the Sharks 8-0.
The team's fortunes would pick up in January, before slumping again in February, leading to a March where Doug Wilson decided that changes needed to be made ahead of the playoffs. in March, the Sharks would swing a pair of trades, bringing in rugged defenceman Craig Rivet from Montreal and prolific scoring winger Bill Guerin from St. Louis. With the new additions the Sharks would finish strong and roll into the playoffs as the 5th seed in the west. For the first round the team would face the Predators for the 2nd year in a row, and would once again dispose of them quickly. This would set up a 2nd round matchup against the conference champion Detroit Red Wings. After a quick start in which the Sharks split the games in Detroit and won the first one back at the Tank, the Sharks fortunes would change and they would reel off 3 straight wins to take the series 4-2. Meanwhile bill Guerin would fizzle in the playoffs scoring only 2 assists in 9 games and being best remembered for taking a Christian Ehrhoff shot off the face and breaking his cheek.
However, the year wasn't an entire flop. Four talented rookies would be integrated into the lineup as the season progressed, with Matt Carle, Ryane Clowe, and Joe Pavelski all showing offensive promise, while Marc-Edouard Vlasic surprised everyone by making the team as a 19-year old and playing a steady, veteran-type game and leading all rookies in average ice-time.
Last edited by The Nemesis: 06-21-2010 at 01:43 AM.
Ok, this is the first matchup in the simulated sharks tournament. First up we've got the 05/06 Sharks with their brand-new acquisition of Joe Thornton and Cheech's 56 goals vs the 2007-08 iteration where the team brought in Jeremy Roenick and some other D-man whose name isn't important.
The second game pits Nabby's calder winning season against Joe's first full season in California.
So vote away and I'll have the simulation completed tomorrow.
Last edited by The Nemesis: 06-21-2010 at 01:51 AM.
Ok, I think the full tournament idea is a bit of a bust if day 1 is any indication. What I might do is sim through the round-robin and re-set in a day or two to run the playoff format. It takes out the crappier teams and smaller storylines. The real intrigue is going to be the knockout stages anyway
I'll probably post tonight's results (when I get home and have time to sim them and do the write-up) and then I'll just blow through the round robin in a couple of days and come back on Saturday (after the draft) to start the elimination round.