FH Milk Carton: San Jose Danger

Thanks to my good buddy George Brew from Whats Brewin for this milk carton gem that has become a genesis for our latest segment on the show.  Now for our first Milk Carton Island, we humbly present the following.

Milk Carton Island

(Yes this is Patrick Marleau but there is more to this….)

There is always much more to the story.   We all know of Patrick Marleau’sstruggles in Game 6’s and Game 7’s of series (1 point in 15 games).  Now what if we told you that Marleau is not completely to blame here?  That would be a bit of a departure.  Every time you turn around, someone from the media is spouting off about Marleau which is kind of unfair but understood. This is part and parcel in the business.  These players are paid millions of dollars to perform what amounts to be a child’s game with great consequences.

Fantasy hockey wise, this problem goes much deeper than one player.  The law of averages is catching up to the San Jose Sharks.  Poolies had to literally know changes were coming when it was revealed that Ryan Clowe would be out for Game 6.  His status for Game 7 is questionable at the moment.  Yes Clowe is a very vital cog but this team has more depth and should have more pride then to come out the way it did tonight in the first 40.  The first two periods are an indictment on the Coach and General Manager.  Yes the one who shops for the groceries and the one who tries to maximize the returns from the groceries.

Why on Earth does this have far reaching fantasy effects?  Think of what would happen if San Jose did lose this series.  GM Doug Wilson should be fired almost immediately and the reality is he has been prolonging the inevitable for awhile now.  San Jose has been flirting with “the end” and it is clear that their investment of a first line has paid less and less dividends each year.  It has come to a point where it has impacted fantasy poolies as well.

Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and Dany Heatley have seen their draft value drop in the past couple years but what would losing this round do?  Nor should they be solely to blame.  The blame is truly a team effort that expands out to the front office and organization scheme.  That scheme hurts fantasy poolies.  The money that they cost, which will be 21.4 million dollars for the trio over the next three season begs are they realy worth it at this juncture?  There now has to be some serious questions about that given the fact that they have been split up in this round of the playoffs and still success has become more and more elusive.

San Jose’s younger core is the future and smartly they have been locked up for the most part. Understandably teams cannot all win the Stanley Cup.  There are 30 teams and the issue that San Jose is a team that should have won a Cup by now.  That sounds like a powerful indictment but the reality is there may be just some bigger problems with this franchise that involve a little higher up than just the players.

Let us take a look at this quote from Coach Todd McClellan tonight after the 3-1 loss to Detroit.

WOW!  Thanks to Yahoo Sports for this one.  When one sees a quote like that and the way San Jose’s top line was scattered about tonight, there is a clear indication that Detroit almost knows what San Jose is going to do before San Jose does it.  The quirky thing is San Jose could still win this series despite all of this.

But the defeatist attitude of this quote strikes me.  Is it a ploy or is it an admission?  Now this has plenty of fantasy impact.  Coaches cannot always put all their cards out on the table.  That is understood.  However, this is not the first time this coach has sounded this way.

San Jose did play poorly and played like they were poorly prepared for this game in every facet. Then in the third period, they started to play better but then they gave up the goals.  The breakdowns were clear.  Little was done.  Again, that is not all the players.  Coaching has to at least set up your team for success or work with what is there to give the team the best possible chance to succeed.  Yes it does not work out at times but clearly a disconnect or several exist between what we know to be reality and what could be misconstrued as San Jose fantasy.

GM Doug Wilson too many times has put the wrong pieces together for this team but enough right ones to keep his job.  Being a GM is very difficult in a business where only 1 out of 30 gets to hoist its sports most precious trophy at the end of a long, grueling season.  The success is one thing in the regular season but the goal is Lord Stanley and that San Jose has not even made the Finals once is an indirect indictment of his regime.

The groceries you see assembled are not what one considers to be fantasy worthy of postseason glory but looks damn good on paper heading in.  It looks very good as far as heading for the Cup as well.  Yet it does not yield fruit as they say.

The fanbase is who we truly feel sorry for because for all the close calls, a team “this good” deserves to give its fans a sniff at the ultimate prize.  Even if fantasy poolies benefitted only, it would still be a boon because it means San Jose did get to the final round.  What is clear is this team, as constituted, has players on it that either cannot get the job done or wilt under the pressure.  That is not just on the player but that is on the architect of the team and the one who drives the team as well.  To blame one guy for disappearing is excessive even if it has relevance for fantasy purposes.

So yes your fantasy options took a hit with all the line juggling but to see the comments, it looks like San Jose is defeated whether it be this round or the next.  Unless something changes, the heart of the champion lies in not their highest priced players but their future.  That future is good but when the present “top dogs” disrupt it, that is a clear and present danger.

That danger is the fault of the GM and Coach.   Can it be saved?  We will find out part of the answer Thursday Night which may go a longer way than any of us know.  Stay tuned because there is more to this than meets the eye.


One little note that we would like to add is this.  There are players other than Ryan Clowe that have been banged up and wonder who they are.  Shouldn’t they get less ice time? What say you hockey public?  What is the real problem in San Jose or is it a combination of factors?  Something does not add up.  That is 100% certain. 


Posted on May 11, 2011, in Fantasy Hockey, NHL Playoffs, Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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