The more I watch the unraveling of the Sharks this post season, the more it becomes clear that this team needs to be blown up. Trade most of the core players away & start from scratch. This also includes the coach, who will not admit that his roster is full of players who don't care about winning the Stanley Cup, if it means changing their approach.
Joe Thornton & Patrick Marleau are the leaders in this disease. Quiet, non combative types who don't seem to understand (or who don't care) that the playoffs are different from the regular season & to win one must become more aggressive because the other team will. At least once last night Sharks TV analyst (and resident comedian) Drew Remenda pointed out that Marleau failed to help the Sharks score on one shift because instead of going to the front of the net where he could poke in or redirect a shot he went to the side of the net for no particular reason. This is, unfortunately, a recurring problem with this team.
The Sharks took 93 shots in game 3. Avs goalie Craig Anderson stopped 51. The rest either were blocked by other players or went wide. What doesn't this team understand? Or do they?
This is why the makeup of the team needs to change. This team dominates the conference every year & then shuts down for the playoffs. When your top players won't step it up, preferring to stay low key, not getting too upset over losing games they have no business losing it contaminates the room. Every other player picks up the vibe & you end up with a non performing team. The best line has been the second line with its lesser known players.
So here is what must happen. Doug Wilson the GM, who was so angered by last years playoff disaster, must clean house. This must not be Thornton or Marleau's team any longer. Evgeni Nabokov is probably gone to free agency. Torrey Mitchell is a question mark, Douglas Murray a 3rd line d-man playing 1st or 2nd line. Rob Blake is 40. Dump all these players & build around Joe Pavelski, Devin Setoguchi & Ryanne Clowe. Dany Heatley, although a good player, has a history of trade demands, & if the Sharks tear apart the core he will want out, so trade him too. Get a coach who doesn't protect players when they underperform. Not once this year did Todd McLellan bench Thornton or Marleau when they were playing badly. The Sharks can't become the Giants with Barroid having a special corner in the dressing room. That cannot happen.
Will the team be bad for a while if this happens? Yes. But the alternative is the team continues on its path to irrelevancy. Until it's too late & Thornton & Marleau no longer can be traded for value.