04 May 2012

MvsW #0110 QoD

Marek vs Wyshynski #0110 (Apr 23, 2012) Question of the Day:
Which of the eliminated teams is in the most trouble?

I'd have to say the Sharks.  The Canucks might be a bigger clusterfuck, and consequently, they'll be a lot more entertaining to follow this offseason.  Of course, a large part of that comes from the fact that they still have a good team put together for next year, and are facing a lot of pressure to commit the organizational equivalent of building a brand new house and then burning it down because the wood floors got scratched.  The Red Wings have been on the downswing over the last couple seasons, so their position isn't a shock.  Additionally, most scouts that I've seen still rate the Red Wings' prospect depth as being pretty decent, with guys like Tatar, Jurco, Smith, and Nyquist.  Pittsburgh has some interesting decisions to make, but no one can deny that they have a pretty solid team entering next year.

No other team crashed the way the Sharks did.  No one else underwhelmed like the Sharks.  The Sharks watched their championship window slam shut in their face.  They lack flexibility to make significant roster changes.  They lack prospect depth to inject fresh blood via promotions to the NHL or trades to acquire roster players.  The Sharks have pretty much blown their load, as far and as hard as they could.  And it still fell well short of their goal, and they have nothing left with which to reload.

The Burns and Havlat trades were their last two shots of the cannon, and this season has largely amounted to standing on the wall of The Alamo, screaming "You'd better not try it, look at this big cannon we've got here!" and hoping no one notices that they're out of ammunition. Funny thing about the NHL though, is that you can't really hide the fact that you're all out of bullets.  Someone will always call your bluff.  Now everyone knows that they don't have anything left, and as Marleau and Thornton get older and the team slinks back out of the playoffs, they have nothing with which to pull themselves back up the standings, and will likely have to bottom out for a year or two.

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