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San Jose Sharks

San Jose Sharks - Once More Into The Breech

San Jose SharksIt hasn’t been easy to write about the San Jose Sharks during the push to the playoffs. It’s not for a lack of news but because any and all musings around the regular season are absolutely irrelevant. When you’re a Sharks fan and you’re staring at the playoffs you know that nothing the team does in the regular season is any indicator of what they’ll do in the post season. When the playoffs are described as ‘the second season’ or ‘a different game’ the Sharks take that differentiation to a whole other level. Unfortunately that level has been down.

Don’t get me wrong - I’m beside myself now that the playoffs are here. Despite past performances I’m very hopeful about the team’s post-season prospects this year. After all that’s the nature of sports - isn’t it? Your team can disappoint you, let you down, maybe even deceive you a little - but you’re right back there a year later supporting them like no other.

Keeping in mind that I’m still the ‘hockey fan in transition’, meaning I’m still getting used to nuances of hockey, I’ve never liked the idea that - for example - last year the Sharks got a bad draw when they faced the surging Anaheim Ducks in the first round. Coming from my football background you’re not supposed to make excuses based on who you draw in the playoffs. To win the Super Bowl, you beat whoever is in front of you. I’ve come to understand that because it’s a long tournament, and it’s more about survival than almost anything else, who you draw in the Stanley Cup playoffs does have some impact on how far you MAY go.

I am very encouraged by the Western Conference seeding - thank god for that one point… Based on travel alone, the Sharks drawing the Colorado Avalanche instead of the Nashville Predators is encouraging (although recent history would dictate that playing Nashville in the first round has usually meant a second round appearance for the Sharks). I’m hopeful that the Sharks can take the Avalanche in 5.

I’m also pleased to see the Detroit Red Wings playing the Phoenix Coyotes. All year long people have been waiting for Phoenix to stumble and they have not. I think Phoenix has a very good chance against the Red Wings making for an interesting series. It’s interesting that even thought the Coyotes are the higher seed many feel like they’re the underdog in this match up. I think Phoenix can do it - I think it’s a toss up that will be decided in 6 or 7 games.

Then there’s the Chicago Blackhawks. If any team scares me it’s them. I’m hoping for a really physical series between them and Nashville. I’m pretty sure Chicago will come out the winner in this one but I’m hoping Nashville can take a little out of them in the process.

Back at home, the one thing that concerns me the most about the Sharks is the time off between Saturday (the last regular season game) and Wednesday (the start of the playoffs). The Sharks are notoriously bad when having too much time off and it’s really important to have them come out and win Game 1. The Sharks have a (deserved) reputation of not being able to overcome adversity, be it falling behind in a game or falling behind in a series.

The Sharks also need to be more aggressive. I haven’t been watching hockey for very long but I do know that in the playoffs you have to push them harder than they push you. Do we finally have the attitude needed to go deep? In playoffs past I remember the Sharks coming out flat. The crowd seems to be more aggressive than the skaters. If the Sharks come out hitting everything that moves and keep it up throughout the game then maybe they’ve turned a corner.

But what do I know. Well…I know this - it all starts tomorrow and I have my tickets to the game.


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2 comments for “San Jose Sharks - Once More Into The Breech”

  1. Well, the Avs got their one. Let’s hope it is all they get. I wanted to watch the game last night, but was unable to wake my ass up. That will be different on Friday though, and I am truly hoping for a victory. If they don’t get it, they will be in big trouble. Scratch that, I KNOW they will be in big trouble.

    Posted by unrulytravllerNo Gravatar | April 15, 2010, 3:21 am
  2. [...] actually a little more hopeful about it all than I would have been in seasons past. As unrulytraveller put it, “Well, the Avs got their one. Let’s hope it is all they get.” With the exception of [...]

    Posted by NHL Hockey penaltykill.net | San Jose Sharks Four-Peat: Down 0-1 Again | April 15, 2010, 3:01 pm

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