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Sharks facing reality: Blackhawks are a better team

May 20, 2010, 12:15 PM EDT

Yesterday I wrote an article stating that the San Jose Sharks were
missing a key ingredient that is needed as you find yourself deeper in
the playoffs: heart. Some agreed, while some questioned why the
Blackhawks weren’t getting the credit for just being a better team.

The
fact is, at this point, the Hawks are a better team. Yet for a team as
talented and as skilled as the Sharks are, what they’ll need to overcome
the play of the Hawks and a 2-0 series deficit is something they
haven’t exactly shown they possess.

Is it enough to just say “the
Hawks are a better team, therefore the Sharks losing to them is
acceptable”? I don’t think so, and this team and the fans cannot be
content with just sitting idly by while the Sharks succumb night after
night.

Tim Kawakami, beat writer for the San Jose Mercury News and
someone who has followed this team all season long, says
that this is the case
. The Blackhawks are just a better team, hands
down, and that’s something that everyone needs to deal with.

The Sharks aren’t totally out of this, of course. Turnarounds can
happen swiftly in the playoffs, no doubt.

But the reality is that the Sharks’ best players (Joe Thornton,
Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Boyle) aren’t as good at this moment as
Chicago’s best players (Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith).

While the Sharks players are saying all the right things, for the
most part, it’s Dan Boyle who really seems to get it. By all accounts he
was the most fired up of any of the players on the team and had some
very realistic comments for the media:

“What do you want me to say? What do you think we’re going to do,
give up?” a fiery Dan Boyle said after the Sharks’ 4-2 loss at HP
Pavilion on Tuesday. “The effort’s there, but it’s not good enough.”

The Sharks will need to dig down and find something inside that is
able to propel them past a better team. We’ve seen it happen multiple
times already in the playoffs, so you can’t tell me it’s not possible.

In the past, the Sharks were always the better team that “choked”.
This is a different situation, but the team is still lacking that
fundamental internal drive needed for playoffs success.

  1. Mike D. - May 20, 2010 at 2:34 PM

    Speed kills, and the fact is, in addition to the faster pace the Hawks can bring, they’re also bringing plenty of hit and toughness to match the so-called toughguy Sharks. People keep talking about the Sharks as the best of the Western Conference, but let’s not erase the regular season in all this Shark pre-adulation. The Blackhawks owned the Sharks in the regular season and bested them in their own building then, as well. The difference between being the top #1 seeded Sharks and the #2 seed Hawks? It was the Hawks to decide in the final regular season against their nemesis Red Wings: they lost the top seed by one shootout goal in the last game of the season. The Sharks say they want it more because they’ve never made it in the 19-year history of the team. Try a half century for the Chicago Blackhawks and their fans, and tell me how many generations are pouring their heart into this run. Lastly, you know what I hate about online newspapers? It’s really hard to wrap dead fish in them.

  2. david - May 20, 2010 at 11:25 PM

    He may or may not be correct in his analysis (it’s easy to agree with him through two games), but it would be wrong to say Kawakami has followed the team all year.
    He primarily writes about basketball and football for the SJ Mercury News, and he shouldn’t be confused with a knowledgeable hockey writer, like David Pollak, the Merc’s excellent beat reporter. He’s a bandwagon reporter, like you find with so many teams this time of year.

  3. John - May 21, 2010 at 11:52 AM

    I can’t believe what some people get paid to write. If you watched the games, you would have seen that the Sharks played at least as good as the Blackhawks, if not in fact better, in game 1. Game 2 is another matter. The Blackhawks outplayed the Sharks in game 2. That said, 1 game and even being down in the series 0-2 does not establish superiority. That’s why the NHL has a 7 game series.
    Your last sentence is utterly amazing. It sounds like you have not been watching the playoff games at all. The Sharks have shown “fundamental internal drive” multiple times during these playoffs. You are simply dead wrong.
    It amazes me how cruel, not to mention dull minded, professional newspaper writers can be. Especially when writing about our home team. Childish doesn’t even adequately describe it.

  4. Denise - May 21, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    I am so sick and tired of all the media talking so much crap about the Sharks. Especially Tim Kawakami giving excuses why the Sharks beat Colorado and why they beat Detroit. In Game 1 of the Colorado series they started in with the crap about the Sharks not being able to make it pass the first round and now here we are with in the third round (Western Conference Final). I think right now the Sharks have more determination and drive to get past this round because of all the talk against them. I truly hope the Sharks PROVE everyone one wrong and make it to the Stanley Cup Finals and win it all. If not just for themselves, THEIR FANS, but also to SHUT the mouths of the media.

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