Plus - The remarkable goal scoring of Joe Pavelski. While he’s not exceptionally fast, Joe more than makes up for that with fearless determination and willingness to go to the toughest places on the ice. He’s Mr. Clutch too.
Minus – Linesmen who fail to drop the puck more often than not. Hockey fans do not pay to see linesmen kick guys out of the circle while feeding an ego trip of making sure everyone knows they are the boss.
Plus – I’ve been around NHL hockey longer than I’d like to admit and I’ve seen players and coaches come and go. The Sharks current coaching staff of Todd McLellan, Larry Robinson, Jim Johnson and Jay Woodcroft are the classiest, hardest working and most prepared group I’ve had the opportunity to be around. They have passion for their jobs without being abrasive to the people around them. They are just another reason I’d like to see the Sharks make along run into early June one of these years.
Minus – An 82 game schedule. Pro hockey is a big business. Millions of dollars are generated and fans have passion for the NHL. But in my opinion 82 games are just too many for players and the game to put the best product on the ice every night. Prior to the 1967 expansion the NHL worked with a 70-game schedule. Even the best, most highly trained players cannot get up for all 82 games. The schedule and travel takes its toll on body and mind.
Plus – Technology as it relates to the NHL. The digital age and the growth of the internet is an ally to fans of our game. Get a laptop and a few subscriptions and anyone in the world can watch or listen to every game no matter where it is played or where they might live. sjsharks.com, Game Center Live, countless hockey websites, bloggers and Youtube can be pure nirvana to the faithful. It wasn’t all that long ago that games were being aired on tape delay and radio signals were a constant problem. Thanks to you Al Gore.
Minus – Fans who tirelessly pound on the glass any time the players get near their front row seats. I’m also down on fans who are are on their cell phones while they stand and wave to themselves on the game camera shared by TV and the Jumbotron.
Plus – They NHL’s great performance pulling off the massive Stadium Series events. We all now share brand new iconic images of the regular season games staged at Dodger and Yankee Stadiums. I’ve especially enjoyed comments made by the players on how much they enjoyed and appreciated their participation in the outdoor games.
Minus – Arrogant, humorless coaches who call out their own players publicly. I’m equally unhappy with bench bosses fail credit opponents following a loss. They need to remember hockey is a game of mistakes and that both sides are doing everything possible to win their games.
Plus – Players who interact with young fans during warm-ups. This is not life and death stuff. Everyone in hockey needs to remember it’s a game and that fans, particularly young fans are making memories that will last a lifetime. The sight of kids with eyes as big as saucers are a thing to be treasured.
Minus – Fair weather fans who only follow their team when wins are coming easy. True fans follow their team year in and year out regardless of the win-loss record. If you stay with your team long enough, the payoff with a Cup will be all the sweeter.
Plus – A golden era for the Sharks who boast star power and a run that has seen them make the playoffs 14 of the last 15 seasons.
Enjoy the games!