Sharks facing reality: Blackhawks are a better team


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.

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

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.

Torres suspended pending hearing

Raffi Torres, Cory Schneider
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According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Raffi Torres has been suspended pending his disciplinary hearing with the league for his hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Torres was assessed a match penalty for targeting Silfverberg’s head on Saturday night.

The 33-year-old missed all of last season with a knee injury, and it looks like the start of his regular season will be delayed once again.

Head coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have come back into the game, but he was held out for precautionary reasons.

Ducks center Ryan Kesler didn’t hide his feelings after the contest.

“(Torres) is the same player every year,” Kesler told reporters. “He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

Oilers place Scrivens on waivers

Jordan Martinook, Ben Scrivens
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The Edmonton Oilers placed Ben Scrivens on waivers on Sunday.

Should he go unclaimed, the 29-year-old will be sent to the American Hockey League.

It looks like Edmonton will enter the regular season with Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson as their goaltenders.

Scrivens was the team’s number one goalie last year, but his overall numbers were among the worst for starting goaltenders in the NHL.

He had a 15-26-11 record with a 3.16 goals-against-average and a .890 save percentage in 57 games last season.

Scrivens is scheduled to make $2.3 million in the final year of his contract.

If he does end up in the AHL, the Oilers will carry $1.35 million of dead money on the salary cap.

The move comes one day after Edmonton placed Nikita Nikitin on waivers.

The 29-year-old officially cleared on Sunday afternoon.