The San Jose Sharks And The Curse Of Jim Kelly
From 1990-1993 the Buffalo Bills tallied up regular season records of 13-3, 13-3, 11-5 12-4, featured NFL Hall of Famers Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith and Marv Levy, went to 4 straight Super Bowls – and lost every one of them.
Are the San Jose Sharks the Buffalo Bills of hockey? Are they destined to be the team that always achieved great things in the regular season only to fold up post season after post season? If history is repeating itself, let us take note that the championship window closed for the Buffalo Bills and has yet to re-open…16 years later and counting.
Watching the two games against the Anaheim Ducks it’s apparent that the Ducks are much more composed and relaxed than the Sharks. Just before the playoffs began, all the pundits compared all the match ups and made all their predictions, threw out every cliché in the book, discussed who had nothing to lose and who had everything to lose. We hear clichés all the time, but it seems like we only hear them before the fact. I think we’re actually seeing a few clichés in action. The Sharks, with everything to lose, look like they’re over thinking everything at the most critical times. The Ducks, who could be labeled the “we weren’t even supposed to make the playoffs, we’re just happy to be here” team, look like they’re playing with house money.
Sharks fans, we know this team all too well. This is the kind of thing the Sharks have never been able to bounce back from. Losing the first two at home against the Dallas Stars in 2008. Blowing 2-goal leads to the Detroit Red Wings in 2007. Unable to regroup from a triple overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers in 2006. Are we going to add ‘Lost first two at home against the Anaheim Ducks in 2009’ to that list?
It is going to take the most monumental effort to win this series, let alone go deeper than the second round. Why I feel it’s going to take a ‘most monumental’ effort instead of a typical ‘monumental’ effort is because of the size of the opponent - the Sharks are not only playing against the Ducks, they’re playing against the expectation of winning it all and against the stigma that they can’t get it done in the playoffs.
Talk to you on Tuesday…..