Monday, May 21, 2007

Sharks determined not to be a team of excuses

Doug Wilson is looking to make some changes in San Jose, and while he hasn't decided on the extent of them, he's certain that next years Sharks won't be carrying the same baggage as this years team.

The Sharks have become one of those can't lose teams at the start of the season that go about and lose in the playoffs. An under performing team that is big on talent, but short on playoff success. One that is ready to take that next step but can't seem to find the ingredients to bring four complete playoff series to the Bay area.

Wilson who has been tweaking this team for the last three playoff years, once again found that his team stumbled their way out of the playoffs. This time by blowing leads in games and leads in the series against the Wings, a crushing defeat that has left the fans of Northern California shaking their heads at how their local heroes can break their hearts year after year.

In his plan to remake his team, no player it seems will be left untouchable, no coach secure in position. The Wilson the GM is expected to talk with his head coach Ron Wilson over the next week to determine if that is the problem with a Shark team that lost its will to win in the last series of the season.

It's unlikely that he should carry the can on the year, for the most part the Sharks had a rather remarkable regular season, providing every indication for a long and rewarding playoff run.

Roster changes are the more likely direction for the Sharks, starting with goal, where two starters shared the duties this year, one will no doubt be moving before training camp arrives in September. Questions always seem to pop up about captain Patrick Marleau, a quiet leader who it seems according to some should be more of a rah rah yeller in the room, while there is no real requirement of someone to yell in a dressing room, Steve Yzerman comes to mind, the time may be at hand for Marleau to move on to another team and a new start.

The Joe Thornton comments have started up again, this time with a West coast theme, the disappointment of the playoff run overshadowing Thornton's contributions in the regular season and the sense of euphoria that rattled around San Jose when he was brought in from Boston. Trading him seems like an unlikely scenario, but you never know, as they say it all could depend on what is being offered at any given time that dictates a trade.

For whatever reason, the final three games of their year were the textbook indication of what a collapse looks like. It wasn't a sight that has left the faithful in San Jose in a happy mood and it's a problem that has the teams GM looking at every possibility.

The playoff disappointment made for a result that Wilson says provides for no excuses, what he wants it seems is a bit of accountability from those that pulled on a uniform in the months of April and early May.

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