Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

On a scale of one to ten, how much does it hurt?

I never understood that question as a diagnostic tool, once you factor in a person’s pain tolerance and varying sensitivities to different kinds of pain.  A person might shrug at a broken bone or abdominal pain, but poke the same person in the eye and they fall down crying like a baby.  Brodie Brazil explained to Sharks fans how they should feel about the Kings winning and the Sharks having lost.  I can only conclude that Brodie is unfamiliar with the basics of psychotherapy.  There’s no “should” to feeling.

I don’t feel differently about the Sharks losing now that the Kings won, even if it does mean San Jose is alone in the Pacific Division without a Cup.  Who knows, the Pacific Division (edit: yes, I actually forgot about the Yotes. Poor Yotes) may go by the way before the Sharks win, will that make it not matter?  Does the way the Kings won make it worse that the Sharks didn’t?  The way they tore through the playoffs, seemingly immune to chance and challenge the whole way?  They played so many one-goal games, if you factor in the EN goals, and yet lost so few.  I would think their achievement would make the whole league shudder—how did they do that?  With really boring awful hockey that is a portent of an imminent lockout?

Saying a little serenity prayer here and ignoring that…

What can be copied from that success?  I’m in the camp that says not much.  Several teams had a lot of talent in one place, many couldn’t find a way to hit that perfect stride at just the right time.  How much of a factor was the lurking frustration of several players coming off of disappointment, injury or other unpredictable motivator?  Was the coaching change just the right kind at just the right time?  How do you copy that?

So how do I feel?  Angry?  A lot of fans are angry.  How could Sharks fans be duped into thinking their team could win and then have it not happen?  Failure to reach the Stanley Cup Finals, for Sharks fans, is like a broken ankle for someone who is always breaking and spraining ankles.  It’s bad, it hurts, but it probably won’t warrant anything higher than a 5 on the pain scale.  Experience has made Sharks fans a little numb.  Maybe seeing the Kings win is the poke in the eye which not only hurts but also makes you notice that ankle.

I’m not angry.  I’m apprehensive about what comes next.  Doug Wilson’s silence has been bugging me, especially as the Capitals announced their Qualifying Offers to their RFAs, as Tampa Bay got a new goalie, as new contracts were announced, as trade chatter heated up.  I understand that GMs are trying to negotiate contracts, they don’t do that in the middle of town square.  I just wish he would throw us a bone, something to chew on other than getting talking rights to someone who said he wanted to come here a year ago.   Qualifying offers would be nice to know about.

That the draft is so close now made me feel a little more anxious about all that silence, but it shouldn’t.  As Bruce Garrioch outlines in fairly brutal terms, this draft isn’t expected to be very good.  That’s something that’s been mentioned before, all season long.  It’s part of why trading away picks wasn’t such a big deal this season as it might have been in seasons past.  So yes, the GMs have to be there but they don’t necessarily have to have all their non-draft business concluded by then.

Nonetheless, I would sure like to hear that at least Braun has a fine sturdy contract in place.  That would be comforting news.

What is alarming is the Sharks’ lousy cap situation.  Whatever happens during the CBA talks, the Sharks have comparatively few dollars available per player needed.  They only have 14 players signed and just $14,753, 833 in cap space.  Talking to Stuart could be a hint that Wilson plans to do more than less to fit a viable roster under the cap.  He could do next to nothing, but that won’t jibe with the promise to make significant changes.  I fear that this will rate more than a five on the pain scale for Sharks fans.  I won’t hold my breath, that only makes it hurt more.

Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: doug+wilson, los+angeles+kings, nhl+cba, salary+cap, trade


KelseyAnn's avatar

Well they’re not totally alone in the division, the Coyotes haven’t won a Cup smile

Plus, while Anaheim and Dallas have won Cups in the past, they haven’t exactly been consistent powerhouses. Mildly competitive here and there, sure, but for the most part I can’t think of them being any more than one-trick ponies

Posted by KelseyAnn from Ahwatukee, Arizona on 06/17/12 at 06:31 PM ET

petshark's avatar

Thanks. Must proofread thoughts more carefully! I guess I care less about what other teams have done than I realized! I

I also agree with your second point, I can’t get too excited about what a team did a long or short time ago.

Posted by petshark from Nor Cal, and on Twitter @petshark47 on 06/17/12 at 08:50 PM ET


Anyone with sense ( outside of SJ) knows they are incapable of winning the cup as long as it is is built on Marleau and Thornton. Until those two are replaced with players who have heart and soul there is no chance for SJ. Wilson will not make the moves necessary to win the cup, he keeps trying to tweak a team built on a sand foundation.

Posted by timbits on 06/18/12 at 02:34 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

Try this scale instead:

Posted by Hippy Dave from Somewhere West of Detroit on 06/18/12 at 03:15 AM ET

petshark's avatar

I think Thornton has demonstrated that he can produce very effectively, and over a whole season for the Sharks.  As for Marleau, he’s always been streaky, but streaked his way to still being one of the top scorers in the league, for less $$ than similar producers.  I still think that if the team can’t get it done with him, they can’t get it done at all.  Does the team have issues to sort out?  Yes, and sorting them out would fix and improve a lot of players on the team.  I’m no shrink, but when a group that looked that good on paper underperforms that badly, it’s hardly ever one guy.  If they don’t get their heads on straight, there’s no player they can bring in to fix it.

Hippy Dave,
Very amusing.

Posted by petshark from Nor Cal, and on Twitter @petshark47 on 06/18/12 at 02:30 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

About Petshark: Talking Stick

Native of Northern California.  Hockey fan since 1998... sort of... there's a hiatus in there that I still can't explain.

I want to know about anything and everything related to the sport and the spectacle.  I watch, I react, I write it down.

My interest in the Sharks was initially a matter of geographic convenience and regional loyalty because that seemed to be how it worked.  I had no prior interest (at all-- AT ALL) in professional sports of any kind.  When I met hockey, it might have set off a chain reaction of general sports fandom.  It hasn't, I don't think it will.  At all.

Since then, that interest developed into full blown (mostly sort of usually almost completely) exclusive loyalty to the Sharks.

I started blogging a couple years ago on wordpress. I still occasionally put things there that I don't think fit here because they are not about the Sharks. Wherever my words wander, here on Kuklas Korner, they will (usually) hang on to a teal thread.

I can be found in cyberspace on Twitter @petshark47, or emailed at talkingstick@petshark.net