Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/29/12 at 08:02 PM ET
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN answers some rant emails,
Dear San Jose, Who are you? That’s all I really want to know. Every year you raise my hopes with aspirations that maybe, just maybe this is the year. You send your coach to the All-Star Game, had the best point percentage in the NHL and at one point were at the top of the power rankings. You had everyone wide-eyed because this was going to be the year. Veterans in place, prime-aged players peaking, young guns improving, it all lined up until ... well, until a nine-game road trip that sent you skidding almost out of the playoff race, that let Phoenix take the Pacific Division lead, and that once again has all of us here in the Bay wondering, will this be another overhyped year?...
My take: Well, at least you were treated to back-to-back trips to the Western Conference finals, including back-to-back playoff eliminations of the Detroit Red Wings. I can think of a lot of fans of other teams that would take that. But I do share your concern with the team right now. Before Tuesday night’s 1-0 win over Philadelphia, I felt the Sharks had really loosened up defensively over the past month. Some of that was because Antti Niemi had struggled in net, but the overall team defensive play was also not up to par. I’ll be curious to see how the team looks once Martin Havlat and Douglas Murray return. They really haven’t had their full team all season. I still think they can make it fun, but I feel less confident of that now than I did in October.
more rants answered…
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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