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San Jose Sharks

Everything Coming Together For The San Jose Sharks

San Jose SharksIf the San Jose Sharks win tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes or Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings (or any combination of losses by the Boston Bruins) they will earn their first Presidents’ Trophy in franchise history. Ryane Clowe and Patrick Marleau are scheduled to return to the line up tonight, bringing full circle the entire Sharks team with everyone healthy and rested. Fighting through those injuries in February and March, damage control involved bringing up a lot of kids from Worcester giving them valuable experience should they be called upon during the playoff push.

What else does a hockey team need?

You’ve potentially got home ice throughout the campaign. You’ve got all your players back healthy and rested. You’ve got a rebuilt blue line that is offensively capable and defensively sound. You’ve got 6 20-goal scorers. You’ve got your AHL kids ready to fill in as needed. You’ve got Stanley Cup winners sprinkled throughout your line up. You’ve got a new coaching system in place that takes advantage of the team’s strengths. You’ve got a coaching style that holds the players accountable for their own play. You’ve got one of the loudest buildings in the NHL thanks to a dedicated fan base.

None of this guarantees anything in the playoffs, I think everyone understands that. But given all of pieces that have come together for the Sharks, it’s pretty obvious that there can be no excuses from the tactical, statistical or logistical side of the team.

Last year the question was ‘heart’. There were games during the last playoff run where it looked like the Sharks didn’t know there was a game that day. The Sharks aren’t going to win every playoff game, and they might not win every series. In fact, the chances for a rookie coach to win the Stanley Cup are pretty slim. I just hope that no matter what the outcome, I want to leave every game knowing the Sharks threw everything they had at the opposition. How will we know if they’ve done that? The Sharks set themselves up earlier in the season – their play in November and December set the benchmark of just how relentless and ferocious this team can be. We ALL know what they can do, so it’s not going to be hard to rate their performance.

The bar has been set, the stage has been set – it all starts next week….

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