Or as I like to call it, the BIGGEST DAMN GAME OF THE SEASON!
Here’s the deal:
The Sharks have a 2-0 lead in the best of seven second round series against everybody’s arch rival, The Detroit Red Wings.
The Sharks have traditionally been known as playoff chokers as they have not performed according to their talent for the past four years or so.
The Detroit Red Wings have pretty much owned the league for the past nineteen seasons. They have had consistently excellent teams and are always viable and dangerous.
So, how did the Sharks manage to take a 2-0 series lead? Well, there are several factors, like the Wings’ 7 game series against Phoenix, and the fact that the players have not been back home for a week, and San Jose had four days of rest and recuperation and then continued to play the hockey of their lives carrying on from the Colorado series.
However, the factor that is most well-known is the officiating, and how most of it has gone against the Red Wings. It is true that the officiating has been pretty bad, but it is also true that it has gone both ways, especially in Game Two. A further truth is that while Detroit has taken a disproportionate amount of penalties, they did earn some of them. Not all of them, mind you, but some of them. Maybe even most of them. And have the Sharks gotten away with a few things here and there, to be sure, but they have also been called for penalties that weren’t penalties.
The biggest factor that not enough people seem to be talking about it the effort of the Sharks. Yes, they have had some breaks and some calls go their way, but after the Colorado series, with the goal off of Blake’s skate, and the goal of which we do not speak, they have a little good karma coming their way. Maybe they have worn it out with all the power plays that they’ve had, but as long as it does not swing back in the opposite direction, they should be okay.
They should be okay because the Sharks are out playing Detroit (which is no mean feat, though it is kind of mean so…), or at least they have been up to this point in the series. Sure, they have been the beneficiaries of some suspect calls by the officials, but they have also been out-hustling the Wings, and earning more of the power plays than have been handed to them by so-called poor or biased officiating. They have been playing hard and smart. In short, they have been playing excellent hockey. Detroit has been playing great hockey. It is a small margin, to be sure, but it is there, and thus far it has resulted in a 2-0 series lead. But Detroit is resilient and they have been in these types of situations numerous times. I’m not sure how many exactly, but I’m pretty sure the number is greater than the number of women James Bond has, and ever will have, slept with, which is a shit ton.
Detroit is not out of this series by a long shot, and I think that it is important that we, as Sharks fans, remain humble and pessimistically optimistic. We don’t want to get into the mindset that we are going to roll over Detroit. They are not pushovers.
They are The Detroit Fucking Red Wings, and they are Fucking Scary!
However, there is no reason to be terrified. Afraid? sure. Apprehensive? of course. Anxious? Who isn’t? But there is no reason to be terrified because the Sharks are playing as a team, and everything is clicking. They need to maintain their current level while trying to step it up a notch because, well, you know, Detroit is going to do just that. But then again, we have this guy on the team, and right now he is unstoppable.
As I said at the beginning of the post, tonight is the BIGGEST DAMN GAME OF THE SEASON! and what I mean is simply that tonight has the potential to decide the series. If the Wings win (god forbid) then they will only be down 2-1 and will have found a way to solve the Sharks this post-season. If the Sharks win, they are 3-0 and still have the formula to beat Detroit. Also, it would mean that they would have four more chances to win one game, but of course I would hope that they would be able to finish it in 4 at that point.
At the beginning of the series, a friend asked me my prediction. I said Sharks in 7. I will stand by that, though I hope it turns out to be Sharks in 4.
Hey, if we keep getting goals like this, it could happen.