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Dirty Sharks

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The Kings chances take a hit because of a major loss on defense

2011 was minus Anze. 2016 is minus Alec.
2011 was minus Anze. 2016 is minus Alec.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the records and hockey punditry giving the Kings the edge, the Sharks were not going to be, and so far have not been an easy opponent. Their defense is stronger than it has been the past few seasons, their young complimenting forwards are better, and they still have their core of key players together. And they also weakened the Kings considerably.

The depth of the Kings blueline corps is far thinner than it has been in years. Alec Martinez, who went from being 2013's "why isn't he playing?" to 2014's "I hope he keeps playing" to 2015's "we are screwed if he isn't playing", is now, well, not playing. This is bad. Not only because he's been an incredibly consistent defender, special teams guy, puck mover, and saw the toughest deployment of any defender on the team (yes even more so than Drew Doughty), but also because the options behind him suck.

Who goes on the second pair? The bulldozer Luke Schenn? The rookie Kevin Gravel? Offensive specialist and team's IT guy Jamie McBain? The positional perfectionist traffic cone Rob Scuderi? Then of course you have to use two more of these options for a third pair.

To quote some wisdom:

I want to die.

And it's all the Sharks fault.

They viciously took Martinez out in a clear hit job and now the Kings' vital defenseman is dead and gone. The rest of the team is in disarray. Only the Sharks could do something so cowardly. The series has swung hard in their favor because of it, and it's really sad to see the Kings' season derailed by their intent to injure. It's deprived the fans looking forward to a competitive series a chance to see a fair match-up.

I guess the Sharks know they can only beat the Kings when they are shorthanded. San Jose may have tried to shake off the stink of Raffi Torres, but they remain a dirty team. I'm glad the Kings roll with these punches though. Maybe one day the Sharks will know the sting of losing an important player at a critical juncture thanks to the rotten behavior of an opponent.

Frankly, I don't know how people can support a team like that.

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Prediction: I don't care anymore. Get well soon, Alec.