Shark BaitApril 21, 2008
During last night’s Sharks/Flames game, Ron McLean and Kelly Hrudey were harping on Brian Campbell, that he needs to step up to the plate and be effective. The gist was that he couldn’t expect a big money contract after completely disappearing during the playoffs (two points in six games, compared with a point-per-game pace during his 20 games with SJ in the regular season). Thornton and Marleau have stepped up for the Sharks (Marleau especially has paid a physical price), while Soupy is the hockey equivalent of the kid in left field that’s making daisy chains during a little league game.
They especially pointed out that Campbell has yet to figure out how to move around a person when bringing the puck up ice. Soupy is so used to having the freedom to wheel and deal that anyone getting in his way causes his mind to short circuit. The example they used involved Soupy bringing the puck up, and just past center ice, Damond Langkow steps into his path. Soupy can’t process whether to go right or left, and instead dumps the puck off the boards and right to a Calgary player. There were a couple other examples that they used to illustrate this, and they were just from last night’s game alone.
In Buffalo we knew that Soupy can turn into a ball of goo from time to time. Please refer to the month of February if you need some examples. Could Soupy be thinking ahead to what is waiting for him on July 1, and its messing with his head? Going out of the playoffs in Round 1 when you’re supposed to be the best UFA defenseman available is not helping his value.