Isles Winning 2 Lotteries?

With the most recent version of the San Hose Job that is the Sharks post season performance, are the Islanders about to convert another 1st round selection into a best possible result? By this, of course, I am referring to the 2009 SJ 1st round pick acquired by the Islanders from the Senators, via the Lightning, in the Comrie/Campoli deal. It was widely believed that this pick would be, at best, a 28th over-all selection, but if the Sharks should continue their pattern of post season collapses, it could be as high as 22nd over-all. Suddenly that pick is a lot more valuable then Campoli…but hind-sight is 20/20.

The other interesting question in this potential post season debacle is the resulting blood letting that is sure to follow. Should the Sharks get dummied in the first round, it will be the 4th time in 4 straight season, the last having cost the coach (Wilson) his job, but this one, after a high-flying Presidents trophy regular season, is sure to extend into the dressing room, as well as the board room.

The most likely candidates would be the veteran leadership, the “core” if you will, who will be pegged as lacking the ability to win big games (insert well known diatribes here, as Sens fans, been there done/heard that). Namely “Jumbo” Joe Thorton (is that moniker for his stature, regular season stats, or salary?), Patrick Marleau (isn’t St. Patrick the patron saint of goal scoring droughts?), and the one year wonder, Jonathan (Where are you?) Cheechoo.

Having watched a young Bobby Ryan out perform their highly compensated “core” players, there is no doubt the fans, and ownership will be looking to their young crop of talent for the necessary changes, players like Setoguchi, Michalek, and Vlasic. But here’s the rub. Unlike Ryan of Anaheim, these young players are not stepping it up in the post season. Much of the Sharks dominance in the regular season came as a result of the play of these young players, but they’ve all but disappeared in the post season. Is it due to a lack of leadership? Lack of experience? I don’t know. But I do know they’re likely sitting beside guys looking like they’re in the waiting room of a palliative care facility, not an NHL locker room, and the pressure of disproving you’re a post season choker can be a heavy burden to bear.   Add into the mix an opposing goaltender playing out of his mind…and the blood is in the water (pun intended).

Are these young players being infected with the “choker” label by association, so early in their careers?  Because if they are, that is a huge stone to strap around the necks of their fledgling careers.

This might get ugly.

So Sens fans, would you be interested in any of the SJ “core” guys?
They all come with big salaries, making their acquisition come at the cost of one of the Sens big salaries. The one advantage is the SJ players have shorter terms than Spez or Heater, which, going into a potential cap contraction, is value in itself.

Spezza for Thorton anyone?

Heatley for Marleau maybe?

I’d say no to a straight up swap, but, lets say they accept one of the above, and throw in Vlasic or Couture, for Kelly or Ottawa’s 2009 2nd, and now you’re talking.

At the very least, Murray should be chumming the waters, in hopes of landing a Shark on the cheap.



6 Responses to “Isles Winning 2 Lotteries?”

  1. Woozle man Says:

    How would the west look if Nashville managed to get into the playoffs instead of Anaheim? Methinks the Sharks would be in the 2nd round already by now. No way Anaheim should be the 8th seeded team in the West, they’re a collection of beasts. Beasts I tell you!

    • Not only Anahein, but consider the placement of both the Blues and Columbus. To be fair to SJ, neither are as good as Anaheim. As they say, you can’t control your oponents game, only your own, and SJ has not played well enough to deserve a series victory, although, Anaheim has had some lights out goaltending.

  2. I watched parts of the Sharks/Ducks game last night ..
    too much play around the perimeters. due to good defensive coverage by Anaheim .. but also the Sharks players have to get aggressive to draw penalties or to get the so called ugly goals ..

    • That is so true. The post season is about desire AND skill. Skill alone, in the post season, appears anemic when juxtaposed to a team that is giving all they have to win…like Anaheim. No doubt, if they stand a chance to win, they have to dig out some of those ugly goals you refered to, because Hillier isn’t giving them a sniff.

  3. Spezza /Heatley .. despite their fllaws .. have the skill and are not afraid to into traffic .. I would not replace Spezza with Joe Thornton., would you ??

    • Would I swap Spez for Thorton? Actually, that is a tough one. A year ago, before the economic issues, the answer would be no. Now, with Thortons shorter contract commitment…I’d have to SERIOUSLY consider it, based upon cap issues alone.
      Thorton may or may not be as good as Spez, especially in the near future, but there is no doubt that he is an elite #1 centre, and when combined with his shorter contract term…well, it would be a tough deal not to consider, if not make. If the deal was sweetened beyond a straight up swap, then yes, I’d do it, for cap reasons, if not on ice reasons.

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