Before I begin, let me just say that I have no problem saying another team is better than the Sharks. Odds are you don't buy that, and that's fine, but as much as I am a homer, (I blog for the team I follow, I obviously favor them over all others), I'm also rather pragmatic. I can see and accept when other teams play better. What bothers me is when one team (in this case the Sharks) plays poorly and outside forces (hello media!) takes that and only focuses on how great the other team (in this case the Hawks) played. It's such a lopsided bout I find it infuriating that games like this are used as banner games to tout the skill of winning team. I find it just as ridiculous against any other team. Believe me, this has been a major pet peeve of mine ever since I started to seriously follow hockey. I even get annoyed by it when it goes my team's way. I like to watch wins, we all do, but I like them to be earned. Fought for might be a better way to put it.
I'm not going to do a goal by goal because that game blew fat chunks of bile spewed from the deepest bowels of the earth and heavens. I don't know what metaphysical barf looks like, but I suspect it resembles tonight's game in rather close detail. And it steams with the funk of a thousand blackened suns sunken in a tar bog. Radio waves of disappointment trickle out, to be picked up by the antenna of all those tuned into Team Teal.
Salt, meet wound and engage in your sickening dance.
But it's not all bad. Salt does clean out wounds, and this game could potentially clear out some of the Sharks demons.
The fact is, no one played well. No one. Boyle and JOEPA did do some good, shattering Huet's shut out attempt within the last five minutes, but aside from that, there were few things to compliment in tonight's performance.
To address the ever looming "emotion issue", while it may not have been evident in their performance, the faces in the locker room clearly told a story. The Sharks WERE pissed and they WERE embarrassed. Dan Boyle put it bluntly, "We got our asses kicked." It's not a lack of emotion so much as it was a lack of knowing how to channel it and use it to their advantage tonight. The entire teams was disconnected. It was just a bunch of random men in the same jersey out on the ice tonight. It was not a team.
But here's the thing; it's one game. Game 26. One in 82 games. It was a terrible game, but it wasn't a season in and of itself. No, not even a post season. It was just an absolutely terrible, horrible, no good, very bad game.
The parallels to "Coyote Ugly" are already being drawn. What remains to be seen is if the Sharks respond on Friday the way they did when they faced Dallas after that brutal beat down by the 'Yotes a few seasons back.
I suggest, fellow Sharks fans, that you remember this game, but don't dwell on it. Tomorrow, we feast. Look forward to and enjoy that. Despite this game, we do have much to be thankful for.