Friday, May 8, 2009

Sharks shouldn't be so ashamed now

Do you think the San Jose Sharks and their fans feel a little better now?

They should.

The Sharks, winners of the President’s Trophy as the team with the NHL’s best regular season record, were roundly criticized after being upset by the eighth-seeded Anaheim Ducks in six games in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. It turns out that the Ducks’ luck wasn’t dumb luck and the Sharks weren’t that bad after all.

The Ducks are back in Detroit to play the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings in the Western Conference semifinals, having split the first four games against second-seeded Detroit. In other words, Anaheim is pushing the Red Wings in a series that will go at least six games. Detroit is having a tough time with the Ducks, too.

Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins, the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, is on the brink of being eliminated in the second round by the Carolina Hurricanes, a No. 6 seed, who have won three consecutive games. The Bruins finished runner-up to the Sharks in the President’s Trophy race and now they’re about to be swept away.

What people forget – especially people who don’t have a clue how wildly unpredictable the Stanley Cup Playoffs can be – is that the post-season in hockey is an entirely different beast. It was disappointing that the Sharks lost in the first round. It was not totally unexpected.


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