Article written by David Mehrwein on Yahoo Sports.
“This season, the Sharks look to get off to a strong start, even if they are only just beginning preseason play. They face their division rival the Anaheim Ducks in a great match-up between two of last season’s playoff contenders. After some thought, I figured out exactly what may be difficult, not just for the Sharks, but other teams that falter when it comes time for the playoffs.
All year long in the NHL, you don’t really play series against teams like you do in baseball, and it’s even the same in the NBA with these one-off appearances against teams. Teams play one game at a time against teams and take the win or take the loss and that’s all you get for that team at that one instance. You will see them again later in the season, but not right away. So playing a team from memory and studying film is important in making adjustments, especially if you lost or needed to correct some minor mistakes.
Doing that when you are facing a team continuously may seem easier, however, as a team, you aren’t used to doing that. You are used to facing several teams, with several different strengths and preparing to face those several teams in a short period of time. Facing the same team over and over again may be easy when you are playing a team that you know you have strengths over. However, try playing a team you struggle against continuously and have throughout the entire season. Now you have to face them at least four times in a short period of time, and having to make adjustments on the fly.
That is what has happened to the Sharks the last few years. They lost to teams in the playoffs that clearly had strengths over the Sharks during the regular season and the Sharks had a difficult time adjusting. The Vancouver Canucks were 3-1 in the 2010-2011 regular against the Sharks and the Chicago Blackhawks were 3-1 in the 2009-2010—both teams beat the Sharks in their respective year’s postseason play (sjsharks.com).
Now of course, this is simply speculation and I’m not making excuses for the Sharks. They simply need to execute and play to their strengths. Hopefully the 2011-2012 Sharks get off on a good note against the Ducks, and continue to build their strengths all year long as they aim not just for the playoffs, but also the Stanley Cup Finals.”
We cant wait for the regular season to start! We’ll be playing the games in DoubleTree by Hilton San Jose’s 2050 Lobby Lounge & Bar! You’ll need to come by to watch the Sharks win on our Flat Screen HDTV’s with drinking a cold beer and eating our delicious Bar Bites! Their first regular season game is Sat, Oct 8th against the Coyotes! See you there