Montreal Canadiens vs. San Jose Sharks Review Pain and Misery

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Hooray, the new NHL season is here! It seems so long ago now, but it has been less than a week since the Montreal Canadiens season began against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and they have not won a game since. They have lost to Toronto, who, say what you want, are a fantastic regular season team. They lost to the New York Rangers, who are an up-and-coming team that have a lot of interesting talent. They lost to Buffalo, who were terrible with former Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall and superstar Jack Eichel, and neither are with the team now.

Maybe this game was not such a surprise. It is the San Jose Sharks after all. If you look at Montreal’s record against the Sharks, you will find 3 wins and 15 losses. Yup. Montreal beat San Jose on March 1st, 2009 3-2, they beat the Sharks on December 4th, 2010 3-1, and the last time Montreal won on March 22nd, 2015 2-0. They have since lost 10 straight, including last night.

For a while, this was to be expected. San Jose had a really good regular season team for years with names like Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau in their primes. But call them the prototypical Maple Leafs, because they rarely found success in the playoffs, and made the Stanley Cup Final once, losing to the Penguins.

They were part of the dreaded California road trip, with the Anaheim Ducks and L.A. Kings, where Montreal would frequently be lucky to escape with just a pity point. Now? Not so much. The Kings and Ducks are deep into rebuilds and have some really good prospects but are not at the top level yet.

The Sharks are a bit different. They were not good last year. They were tied for second last in their division with the Kings, and the team behind them was the Ducks. But the Sharks are ladened with old players and long contracts. You don’t want to rebuild with guys like Logan Couture (32 for 6 more years), Brent Burns (36 for 4 more years), Marc-Edouard Vlasic (34 for 5 more years) and Erik Karlsson (31 for 6 more years). And all of these contracts are $7 million or more annually. While L.A. and Anaheim are being pulled by their young horses out of the basement, San Jose is moving nowhere, as their big contracts and young talent are pulling all their limbs in different directions.

But none of that matters when the San Jose Sharks roll up to the Bell Centre on October 19th, 2021.

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