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San Jose Sharks

San Jose Sharks - I’ve Seen Enough

sharksfan I just finished watching the San Jose Sharks, coming off 4 days rest, beat the Washington Capitals 7 - 2. I’ve seen enough.

As a long time 49er fan I’ve learned what winning feels like. I’m not talking about having a winning season, a winning record or a winning streak, I’m talking about how to dominate a sport. The 49ers did it for over a decade. The Chicago Bulls did it with Michael Jordan. A dominant team has the ability to steer the course of a game in their favor. Sports pundits talk about it all the time, they call it ‘taking control of the game’. During most sporting events teams go back and forth, taking control of a game and then losing it. We’ve all seen basketball teams go on scoring runs only to have the other team run on them. It’s this natural ebb and flow that makes team sports exciting, on any given day any given team can win.

The ability to take control of a game requires two things - the physical talent and the mental fortitude. It’s a rare thing when a team can consistently take control of a game - game after game - no matter who the opponent. I used to watch the 49ers do it all the time so I know exactly how it feels.

Watching the Sharks take control of their game with the Washington Capitals ‘felt’ like what I used to see with Joe Montana and Steve Young. The Sharks have demonstrated night after night an ability to take control of a game. Sometimes, like tonight, the defense leads the drive. Other night’s it’s the second, third or fourth lines. In season’s past when the Sharks were struggling you got a sense that everyone on the bench was waiting for someone to take control of the game and spark the team. This season it feels like everyone wants to be on the ice to lead the charge, all the while understanding that the team comes first.

Sharks fans know we have to be careful, we’ve always had great success during the regular season but come up short in the playoffs. To keep it in perspective we’ve been tempered in our analysis to date. We beat the Red Wings but they played the night before. We beat the Penguins but they aren’t the same team that made it to the finals. We beat division rivals but our division seems to have weakened. Tonight we beat the Capitals but they’re without a couple of key players.

Sometimes people look back and realize that even though they didn’t know it at the time they were witnessing something special unfolding. I took the 49ers for granted - I was so focused on winning championships that I almost ignored the work it took to get there. I’m not doing that with this year’s Sharks, this team is different and I can feel it. I’m not saying they’re a lock to win the Stanley Cup, that would be a jinx I’m not prepared to own. What I am saying is that from a sports fan point of view, this Sharks team is the kind of team you dream of - a team that has the confidence and skill to beat any opponent and do it in a way that’s entertaining and exciting.

We’ve got a lot more hockey to go and a lot can happen between now and April, but I for one plan to enjoy every minute of this revolution. I want to be able to look back on this and be glad I knew exactly what was happening.

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One comment for “San Jose Sharks - I’ve Seen Enough”

  1. You are a very convincing fan of the Sharks and make a good case for this team being special. This may in fact be their year. Only serious injuries or a breakdown in team chemistry and/or confidence is likely to derail them.

    Posted by The Old TimerNo Gravatar | November 23, 2008, 9:19 pm

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