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Leafs visit Sharks – The Sky Isn’t Falling

The Sky Isn’t Falling

Not all is well in Teal Town these days; the San Jose Sharks are currently in the midst of a two game losing streak with a horrid record of 5-12-0 on home ice in the SAP Center. Their last game a loss to the Detroit Red Wings should in my opinion should be something that the fans should overlook. The Sharks played well enough to win the game; yes there were a few mistakes but the effort was there. There are many games that the Sharks have lost are far more worth your anger.

This afternoon the Sharks will play the Toronto Maple Leafs for the final time this season. In their previous match up the Sharks were able to escape with a five to four win in overtime after the Leafs had spotted the Sharks a three goal lead early on. The Sharks won’t be able to expect that kind of an early lead this time around. Also starting in goal tonight for the Leafs will be a Jonathan Bernier who has seemed to have finally found his game with a .975 SV% and 0.97 GAA over his last three games. The Leafs are also 6-3-0 in their last ten games.

With the struggles in San Jose many fans are starting to lose their heads a little. For many the sky is falling and the team no longer has the depth to make the playoffs and some have even gone as far to call this game a must win. So let me try to ease your mind a little bit. First, the Sharks have multiple games in hand on all their division rivals that they would need to pass to make the playoffs. Second, an out of division game is hardly a must win for the Sharks. Would it be nice to see them win at home? Absolutely, but let’s stop pretending that this team is good enough that losing to the Leafs is a sign that we need to tear the whole thing down tomorrow.

This is not the time to tear apart this team regardless of the outcome of tonight’s game. The facts are simple by tearing it apart now all we would do is all but guarantee the Boston Bruins a lottery pick in this year’s draft. Furthermore what parts are you going to move, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau still have No Movement Clauses’s do you really want to trade Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski or Logan Couture who both have limited No Trade Clauses themselves? Would a change like that really make a difference? Finally if the Sharks were to tear it down now do you want to see Doug Wilson as the person who is the architect of what comes next?

As hard as it may be to read the Sharks best course of action is hoping they can ride a terrible pacific division into the playoffs accepting when it’s all said and done that the way the Sharks accomplished this task is unacceptable. Doug Wilson should be let go after this season and a new set of eyes should be allowed to design what comes next for this team and ultimately decide on the future in teal for Thornton and Marleau.

That said something Doug Wilson has taken a lot of flak for of late is the trade for Martin Jones and the price he paid. The only thing that Doug Wilson should be criticized for is not lottery protecting the first round pick. Moving on from Antti Niemi was the right move, the price he paid for Jones was on par with what goalies had gone for at the time and of all the goalies that moved Jones has been far and away the best goalie pickup of last summer.

Projected Sharks Lineup

Hertl – Thornton – Pavelski
Nieto – Marleau – Ward
Karlsson – Couture – Donskoi
Wingels – Tierney – Brown

Vlasic – Braun
Martin – Burns
Dillon – DeMelo

Jones
Stalock

Projected Maple Leafs Lineup

van Reimsdyk – Bozak – Parenteau
Grabner – Kadri – Komarov
Winnik – Holland – Lupul
Matthias – Arcobello – Boyes

Gardiner – Phaneuf
Hunwick – Rielly
Marincin – Polak

Bernier
Reimer

About Ian Reid

Ian is the Director of Content for Pucknology. He is a lifelong Sharks fan based in Canada. In three short years Ian has come a long way starting from his own blogspot and going on to write for RSENReport.com, Last Word on Hockey before settling in at Pucknology. You can also find Ian's work as a contributor at FearTheFin.com. On the podcast side of things he was a co-host of the now defunct Teal Tinted Glasses podcast as well as a regular on Pucknology After Dark and host of the Pucknology Writers Room.

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