Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Sharks Gameday: Ok, Well, Whatever

When I worked in London for a little bit, I had this boss who loved gambling. Almost every week he'd go to a casino and somehow come back with stacks of money. I went with him one time, and as we walked through the London tube station, he explained his strategy to me. He always brought about 150 pounds and played roulette. Instead of sitting at a table and playing, he'd stand in the middle of a bunch of tables and watch the screens displaying the numbers. He'd look for a certain third or a certain column to appear three times in a row; if it did, he'd run over to a table and bet 20 pounds each on the other two thirds or columns. If it didn't hit, he'd do the same thing but double his bet.

He didn't look like he had much fun, but I saw him turn 150 pounds into about 800 pounds with a small number of bets (and a lot of standing around). When I later presented his strategy to stats people, they said that it was a flawed strategy because you can't look at something like roulette with series odds; that it has to be a single event taken every time.

Well, the Sharks are down 3-1. Do you look at the inevitable and say it'll be just about impossible for them to win three in a row or do you just look at this next game and see what happens?

The cynic/realist in me says to accept what it is, and for the most part, I have. The optimist in me says that the Stars (and Marty Turco) are due for a meltdown game and that the Sharks have been close in this series despite playing pretty crappy, and if they can just reach that magical plateau where the whole team is firing on all cylinders, who knows? It's not impossible, after all, just really, really, really ridiculously unlikely.

As for me, I feel loose. I'm going tonight, but I'm not stressing because ultimately, whatever happens will be and now that I've sat back and thought about it, I can see where the flaws are in the way this team is constructed. I may be drinking the Teal Kool-Aid, but I don't think it's as bad as some people do. I don't think there's a need to completely destroy things, just one or two core changes, a few tweaks, and another year for so many of the kids that the Sharks relied on to mature.

If they win, that'll activate the little part in me that goes, "Maybe, just maybe." If things aren't going well, I'm going to take the whole thing in as something that's pretty personal to me, as it may be Jeremy Roenick's last game. For a guy that's been a fan of his since middle school, it's kind of neat to be able to be there if it ends. I hope it doesn't, either for the team or for him (especially with his newfound ability to be a character role-player), but you know, shit happens.

Go Sharks.


kevin said...

I'd imagine that those casinos loved to see your boss show up.

Sqb. said...

The Stars will be hungry. The Sharks will lose tonight.

Finally, then, we can find out how fast the axe falls on one Ron Wilson.

Daryl said...

Hungry Stars does not necessarily translate to a Sharks loss tonight. It depends on how hungry the Sharks feel.

Earl Sleek said...

As for me, I feel loose.

That's the spirit, Mike. No need to get stressed at 3-1. Save that worry for game six.

Plus, there's no attitude that represents California better than "Whatever".

Ian said...

Your stat friends are right, and the flawed strategy has a name: the gambler's fallacy. If a coin comes up heads 30 times in a row, it's still exactly 50/50 it will come up heads a 31st time.

At some point, the excuse that we're a young team that is learning to succeed starts to not fly. We've been a young team for the last 3 years, and we've just needed a few tweaks to really be good for just as long. It's time for our young players to start producing, and for our vets to look like they know what they're doing (ahem, Grier, wtf?).

We have maybe another two year window, given the relative ages and contract status of our key players, but betting on that is to be just as mistaken as your boss.

Matt in Dallas said...

There seems to be a running thought in Dallas that the Stars won game 3 while taking the Sharks best effort. I'm talking a huge air of confidence around here. People and the media seem to think a near-perfect game from SJ won't even sink the Twinkles (to borrow Razor Reaugh's nickname for the Stars).

Guppy (shark) fans seem to think SJ hasn't pulled together a good effort yet. So which is it?

I'm trying to remain level-headed about it and I honestly believe if there is any team that can rally it is the Sharks of 2008. But WILL it happen? I don't think so.

Regardless, after the way the Wings dismantled the Avs....sheesh. The West may already be decided anyway.

Earl Sleek said...

Regardless, after the way the Wings dismantled the Avs....sheesh. The West may already be decided anyway.

It might be. Add to that the way DET lost the conference finals last year and I dunno--it's going to be a tall order.

Still, I won't say it's in the bag. If the Sharks can pull the miracle, then I think that will put some momentum behind them. And I refuse to be surprised by the Stars' success anymore.

We shall see. The Wings certainly cleaned up the Avalanche, but with the easy win and the long layoff, it could hurt 'em a bit. Remember the last time the Avs got swept in round 2. The Ducks couldn't handle the long layoff and proceeded to lose their next three games.

Kelpfreak said...

Wow. As much as I hate Morrow, he was robbed of a goal. Didn't think that would get called back.

Make something of it, Sharks!

Earl Sleek said...

Yeah, no shit. For tonight at least, it seems the league is rooting for the Sharks.

Still, I'm not going to pity Dallas for a shitty call on an apparent goal. Not while Hull and his foot are on the payroll.

Anyway, the Stars just scored again. Take that, league!

Kelpfreak said...

Oh huzzah. Balance is restored to the universe and with Morrow yapping at the refs after scoring, I can go back to loathing him.

What a relief.

Kelpfreak said...

Wait...did Campbell just score? And those are the only two angles Versus has of that play?

Earl Sleek said...

Kelpfreak, that's exactly what I'm saying. They take so much time to somehow disallow Dallas goals, and then just "Hey, red light. Must be a goal."

I have yet to see it in the net myself.

Earl Sleek said...

Oh, OK. Good goal.

Kelpfreak said...

And there it is. Wow. Nicely done by Campbell.

Kelpfreak said...

If the Sharks win this game, they had better win the series to make Campbell worth the extra million a year his agent just thinks he earned.

Kelpfreak said...