For the fans of the San Jose Sharks, the post season has been nothing but heartbreaks since the franchise has been playing in the National Hockey League. Sharks fans are some of the very best fans in the League, and HP Pavilion is one of the toughest venues to play in. However, the Sharks postseasons runs in the Stanley Cup Playoffs have routinely ended early.
This season the stars have aligned for the San Jose Sharks. This is the best chance the Sharks have at hoisting the Stanley Cup when all is said and done. Here is what has happened so that your San Jose Sharks could sit so pretty.
The Colorado Avalanche
The eighth seed is usually a sacrificial lamb in post season play. Except in the National Hockey League, where the last team to make the playoffs can run all the way to the end. The Sharks are the #1 seed in the Western Conference, and the Colorado Avalanche were their opening round opponent. Despite some early jitters, the Sharks cleared a major hurdle by closing out the young and rebuilding Avalanche.
The Detroit Red Wings
In the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Sharks drew the Detroit Red Wings. However, this Red Wings team is aging, and injured. The Sharks did what they had to do to put away the Red Wings when the Wings were at a weak point. This will not be the new order in the Western Conference. The Red Wings are owned by Michael Ilitch, and he loves his team, and will quickly rebuild the team. This was a rare down year for the Wings, and the Sharks were lucky to catch them in these playoffs.
The Montreal Canadians
The Montreal Canadians were the last team in the Eastern Conference to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs; earning the #8 seed. The Canadians responded by knocking off the #1 seed Washington Capitals, and then followed that up by knocking off the Defending Stanley Cup Champions Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round. They are now facing the #7 seed Philadelphia Flyers, who knocked out the #2 seed New Jersey Devils in their opening match.
So if the Sharks make the Stanley Cup Final, they will not have to face either of the two best teams in the NHL, which also have the two best players in the NHL respectively.
It has all lined up for the Sharks, and it may never look this good again for a long while.
All they have to do is get passed the Chicago Blackhawks. Oh, they are not a bad little hockey team themselves.
UPDATE: Sharks lose game 1 of the Western Conference Finals to the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1.