May 25, 2010, 12:30 PM EDT
Last season, in what was almost certainly a big ‘choke job’ by the
San Jose Sharks in the playoffs, Dan Boyle was as outspoken as ever
against his team. He was upset with the lack of effort from the players,
with the coaching staff’s preparations and just about frustrated with
everything in general when it came to the Sharks.
This year, after a sweep at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks at
the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks, how does Boyle feel about his team?
“Last year I was critical of some of the effort, but I
think guys worked really hard. I can’t be critical of the effort we
gave,” said Boyle, who had the puck on his stick, skating alone when
the final buzzer sounded.
“It’s a sweep on the board,” Boyle said,
“and a lot of people are going to say it was a one-way series, and
that’s fine. But anybody who knows anything about hockey, three of those
four games could certainly have gone our way.”
I know that saying this wasn’t a ‘choke’ by the Sharks and that you
have to be happy with their effort will certainly do little to alleviate
the pain of the loss, but there’s no doubt that this season was
different for the Sharks. Sure, it’s incredibly disappointing and you
have to wonder how a team with so much promise fell short time after
time each postseason.
The Sharks are now facing an uncertain future, after revamping their
roster last season in a last-ditch effort to make a final push for the
Stanley Cup. That they fell short may speak to just how much the Sharks’
core of players may need to change. With Marleau and Nabokov facing
free agency, that’s certainly a possibility.
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