Thursday, May 8, 2008

Church of Wilson

It has to be challenging to work someplace where you're only considered successful if you're the top organization in your field, and being the second or third or fourth best organization is considered a failure.

Following the third consecutive year of the San Jose Sharks getting eliminated in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, Bay Area fans and media have started calling for Sharks coach Ron Wilson to be replaced. Apparently the team needs a new boss to drive them to "the next level". I'm not buying it.

Ron Wilson has lead the Sharks to three consecutive playoff appearances, and serious Cup contention every one of his five years on the job (besides that strike year). I don't think they would do that much better with another coach running the team. If every NHL coach who didn't win the Stanley Cup was fired, there would be 29 coaching vacancies every year.

If they would have been swept by Dallas this year (like they were by Detroit last year), I could see the argument that Ron Wilson can't motivate his teams for big series, but they came back from 3-0 down to win two games in a row and take a third to four overtimes before being eliminated by the Stars, so I think Ron deserves another chance.

The Sharks always seem right on the verge of breaking through, so a Stanley Cup is bound to happen one of these years. And Ron Wilson deserves to be behind the bench when it finally does.


B said...

I agree! Ron's fantastic. I think the Sharks have been overhyped somewhat. Are they one of the best? Yes. Are they dramatically better than other good teams? Not yet. They need to make some roster moves--some real nuts and bolts stuff. Wilson's the perfect guy to have in charge of that kind of growth.
Plus, it's fun to see what has to happen for him to uncross his arms or furrow his brow.

Steve said...

Bay Area sports are such a wasteland these days, that anything with the slightest sign of not sucking (Sharks hockey, Cal football, Stanford women's basketball) tends to be overhyped.

b-Aren't you impressed that I used a Cotton Mather song in a hockey post?

Gil said...

Ron Wilson is a great coach. The Sharks are a great team, but something needs to happen. I don't know what, though. Even though Brian Campbell had a very tough time in the playoffs, I think he could make a difference next year. I really hope they keep Jody Shelly. The boys plays tougher when he's in the lineup!