The San Jose Senators?
Total Pro Sports – This is the lowest point in the San Jose Sharks franchise. Last year they would have probably said the same thing. They were knocked out in the second round and eventually fired head coach Ron Wilson. Coming into this year they were once again predicted to win the Stanley Cup by many NHL insiders. After winning the President’s Trophy as the league’s top team the Sharks were ready to get rid of the label as playoff under-achievers. Unfortunately they ran into Jonas Hiller, Ryan Getzlaf and the rest of the Anaheim Ducks and were once again sent home early.
Sens fans (along with Leafs nation) have seen this movie before; it was not too long ago that in the Eastern Conference the Ottawa Senators were favored year in and year out to win the Cup but never got the job done. So where do the Sharks go from here? Clearly a large portion of the blame will fall on the lap of Joe Thornton and rightfully so due to the fact that he had another less than stellar playoff. However, the supporting cast of Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Ryan Clowe and Milan Michalek all have blood on their hands in terms of not answering the call and elevating their game. Evgeni Nabokov has had great regular seasons for the Sharks but can he be the goalie that leads them to the promised land. His save percentage of 890% and goals against average of 2.82 against the Ducks leads me to question his status as a top flight goalie.
Furthermore, GM Doug Wilson must assume his portion of the blame since he is the one who assembled this team; he is definitely on the hot seat and will be lucky to retain his job. Clearly there are many more questions than answers for this franchise; it should be an interesting and busy off-season in Northern California.