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No Win Situation In A Must Win Game For The San Jose Sharks

One of the most overused phrases in sports is referring to a game as a “must win”. However, if there was ever a perfect description of Game 7 between the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks, “must win” is it for the Sharks. While the team has seen 3 Western Conference Finals appearances in franchise history, I think the Sharks have a better chance getting past a 2016 St Louis Blues or Dallas Stars than they did against a 2004 Calgary Flames, 2010 Chicago Blackhawks, or 2011 Vancouver Canucks. The window for the Sharks has never been open wider than now.

If the Sharks lose, it will be the same story we hear every year once the Sharks have been eliminated from playoff contention. They will be called chokers again by fans and media alike. No one will talk about how the Sharks had a Game 4 victory essentially stolen from them. Instead, the false narrative peddled by the media will lay the blame at the feet of Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau despite the fact that there are 18 other people on the Sharks bench, half of which did not play for San Jose 2 seasons ago, not to mention a completely new coaching staff. That same media won’t reference the Predators’ dominance of the face-off circle. You won’t hear about the performances of Smith, Neal, Josi, Rinne, etc… The easy and cheap way out will be to simply say “same old Sharks” and blame 19 and 12.

If the Sharks win Game 7, it’s a step towards winning back fans that are still bitter about 2014. It’s no secret the Sharks have had difficulty selling out the Tank during this playoff run and during their entire 2015-2016 campaign. Even on nights that were technically called sellouts, there were still several empty seats to be seen. A Game 7 win should ensure a sold out Shark Tank for the remainder of the playoffs, but will it? A victory on Thursday night would also be a leap towards shaking their overused and somewhat unwarranted “choker” label. If they win Game 7, maybe local sports radio will actually pay attention to team teal rather than bumping a hockey segment so they can replay a Warriors game.

However, there is still a contingent of fans that are waiting for the big shiny thing to call 525 W. Santa Clara St. its address before they are willing to invest themselves, emotionally and financially, in the Sharks again. Even if they win Game 7, they’re still only half way home.

About AJ Strong

AJ is a Sharks fan since 1991, host of the Pucknologists Podcast, co-host of PucknologyAfterDark, and takes blame for the Sharks using "Let's Go" by Sixx:A.M. as their goal song.

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One comment

  1. It’s always some excuse that the team losses in the playoffs, yet the constants the last 7 playoff seasons have been Joe Thornton and Patrick Malreau never blame the teams two highest paid players no blame someone or something else. In each series we’ve lost its because the top line has failed to produce. While Chiago’s best players were there teams best and highest scoring players in their cup victories. In AJ’s minds it’s not there faults. In both LA Kings Stanley cup victories their leading scorers and best players were not only the teams highest paid players but also the teams best players. Only in SJ is it not about the best players being and playing their best. The fact is the Dharks wer up 3-0 in 2014 vs LA lead by Marleau, Thornton and Pavelski, yet despite the bottom six out goal scoring the top 6 in the final 4 games the Sharks lost the series. AJs excuse is that the secondary scoring wasn’t their! Lol! James Sheppard, and Mike Brown both scored more goals in games 4-7 then Thornton and Couture combined. In fact the 3rd line was more productive then top 2 lines the final 4 games, blame the bottom 6 all you want, but Marleau’s Corsi as well as Thornton’s over those last 4 games were in the bottom 6 of all forwards. So yes let’s ignore the fact that Thornton who had a series worst game Corsi in game 6 vs Nashville is never at fault. Fact of the matter is if the top line just played an average game, or scored just one goal the series is over. But no always blame someone or something else, after all it’s the Sharks way, never take responbility for the teams failure, always blame someone else, or someone who really should and did have no impact on that loss. It’s the Sharks way.

    Evil ducks