Petshark: Talking Stick
Entries with the tag: standings
Did the Sharks lack confidence through February? Well, obviously, but in what? What has been dragging them down? Have they dealt with "it" yet?
I had a thought yesterday morning, stemming from something one of the Bulls said to me weeks ago. He mentioned that the offensive game comes first for most players. They learn defense later with experience. It wasn't the first time I've heard that, but it took a while to sink in. Shouldn't shooting the puck be almost an involuntary reflex for a hockey player? Wouldn't it take a lot of un-training, or a horrible lack of confidence to suppress it?
Why would the Sharks lack confidence when they were passing the defense test with such high marks? Didn't they trust themselves yet? Were they still thinking too much?
Brad Stuart predicted this.
Yesterday, David Pollak published some quotes from Brad Stuart about his career and about the Sharks, what he saw while he was here the first time, and what he saw playing against San Jose later. One of those answers might explain this mind-boggling start from Team Teal:
Pollak: "...wasn’t last year a step backward?"
Stuart: “Sometimes that can be a bit of a wake-up call and maybe that will motivate the team as a whole to not let that happen again. It all depends on how you handle it as individuals and as a team – who takes responsibility upon themselves to be better. And everybody’s got to do that.” -Working the Corners
So there you have it. This is what the Sharks look like when they are awake.
I think there's more to it. I recall many times last season when Joe Thornton would throw passes to no one. At first I thought this was a positioning issue, like he was too often in the same place or trying something new he wasn't used to. That doesn't seem to be the case. Obviously, the Sharks were having problems with their sonar: