Thursday, May 18, 2006
Some last thoughts on our victory over the Sharks.
I think a lot of the Sharks were hurting - Michalek was never a factor after the Torres hit. Bernier seemed to disappear. Mark Smith. Cheechoo. Thornton. At various points during the series these players were all sent off the ice in rough shape after being punished by the Oilers. I know the Oil probably have their share of bumps and bruises too but it seemed as the series wore on the Sharks competed less and less.
In a similar vein I think the hitting wore down their D. Hannan in particular seemed to make a lot more errors as the series moved along.
How many Shark players overachieved or played up to their capabilities - Ehrloff, maybe? Toskela did all he could as well. But anyone else? How many underachieved?
What about if you apply that test to the Oilers? How many performed far better then you would think? Horcoff. Smyth. Peca. Moreau. Smith. Staios. Bergeron. Harvey in his one game. Maybe Stoll. How many underachieved or did not contribute? Greene is in over his head. We could always use more from Hemsky. Raffi is a little undisciplined.
But these are minor quibbles compared to what the Sharks were looking at. In the must win games - G5 and G6 - they did not get it done. They became unglued, failed to compete, failed to rise to the occasion.
Wonder what Ron Wilson has to say now.
Right now the Oil are a team firing on all cylinders. While anything can happen the fact is that in the last four games they put themselves in a position to win each game and deserved each victory. That's all you can hope for. And they are getting better as the playoffs have progressed. Their experience and the leadership in the room and on the ice is telling. MacT is also doing a great job of keeping them focussed and aware of the opportunity that they have.
And lets not forget Roloson.
On to the next challenge. Another big one. But another one that can be handled as well. Play hard. Play smart.
Posted by Black Dog at 12:24 PM