On Erik Karlsson, the San Jose Sharks, and Joe Pavelski

Again, this was an entry I started to write on a youtube video; it got to the point where it seemed more like a blog post, so I moved it over here. Thank you, reader, for reading! 🙂 The youtube video was was discussing and speculating about whether EK65 stays or goes.  … Needless to say, I reaaaaaally hope he stays! These are my thoughts, as a big SJ Sharks fan, over the course of the season (only got to watch 20 games, at most) and the playoffs – of which I watched and/or listened to on the radio, every game (I had left the house after period 2 of game 7 against Vegas, and was driving around *listening* to that miracle comeback – and wow; it was AWESOME!) … OK, here is the post.
I hope the Sharks stay almost exactly the same, except without Pavelski, I hate to say. I like the guy and everything, but first of all, he’s too slow. Secondly, it seems like he *needs* the team to adjust to him – to his way of scoring goals, which is by deflections. It’s kind of his trademark. And that is a style of play that would require the whole team to adjust to that game plan while he is on the ice, and then play a different way when he’s not?? I don’t think so. That’s absurd. He would have to be *really* good at scoring in that way in order to be incentive enough to make it the go-to team game plan, setting him up for deflections. He would have to be a perennial 50-goal scorer. He is a perennial 30-goal scorer, though, which is good. But not worth it. He also sounded a little too confident in his being re-signed (and probably with a raise, he believes) in his locker cleanout interview. That’s great that he loves it here, but that’s not, ya know, first priority in the decision process. The first priority, IF they are going to sign him again (or, as I put it, if they “should” sign him again) is whether he is willing to take a pay cut and a production cut. Production cut because the team should absolutely not focus on setting him up for deflection goals. HE is going to have to be the one to adjust to the way the Sharks play. We saw during the regular season that he was absolutely not doing that well. When the Sharks really started to take off, and were playing some of the best hockey in the NHL (I think it was DeBoer, or maybe Ron Wilson, who said they thought the Sharks were the best team in the NHL during that stretch – and I agree. I was like “wow; the Sharks are a bona fide juggernaut!) and Pavelski was being left behind every time you look. Too slow, too stubborn and unwilling to change the way they play. I wish he could just get faster, but iff he could have, at this point he would have.
And I actually believe that Karlsson saw all this as well; and it may be a significant part of his decision on whether he stays with the team or not. If Pavelski was not the captain it would be different. (and really, he shouldn’t be the captain; it should be Burns, if he wants it; or Couture or actually, I think Hertl may be a fitting captain. He has the leadership, the only question to me is whether he changes when the C is on his chest. (If he does? Nope! Do not make him captain, because we don’t want Hertl to change a thing. And I can say that about almost *every* player on this tteam – except Pavelski. I mean, there are a handful of players that need to improve a bit, but none that do more harm than good for the team, overall. And I feel really bad for saying that – because he is a good guy, and also because he played with some injuries. But when the team plays different – in a better way – without him? It’s not really to his credit to force his way back and play while hurt. All this being said, when he got taken down in game 7 against Vegas like that, it was the saddest thing I have ever seen in hockey. I felt SO bad for complaining about him. … So, I think if he just sets down and eats the humble pie of taking a pay cut, and stepping in line with the team’s new style and culture on-ice, it would be great if he stays.
And all that was pertinent to Erik Karlsson’s decision, as, like I said, I believe he saw and sensed eeverything I mentioned – about the team becoming a juggernaut when going away from Pavelski brand of hockey – and he would want to be the leader, the quarterback, or catalyst – what have you – of that new brand of hockey. And he absolutely should be! He is the best player the Sharks have ever seen.
At any rate, no matter what happens, I wish him well in his career, and I hope he and his wife are able to have a healthy, happy baby. That was really sad that they had a miscarriage. I’m sure it was really tough on his wife, emotionally. So, God bless him and his wife and soon-to-be, family, and I hope that blessing will occur in San Jose 🙂 😛

image credit: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/2018/12/22/erik-karlsson-faces-suspension-austin-wagner-sharks-kings/2400144002/

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