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http://itlan.is-a-geek.com/ • United States • 38 Years Old • Male
The first edition of the Battle of California is finally here. No two California teams have faced each other in the modern era (since the Sharks and Ducks entered the league). The Oakland Seals faced the Los Angeles Kings in 1969, the Kings were victorious in 7 games.

This is the run down of all possible playoff series that never happened between the three current California teams: the Los Angeles Kings, the San Jose Sharks, and the Anaheim Ducks.

1993/1994/1995/1996/1997 No possible matchup.

In 1998, the Los Angeles Kings and the San Jose Sharks were both eliminated in the first round. The Kings by the St Louis Blues, and the Sharks by the Dallas Stars.

In 1999, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and the San Jose Sharks were both eliminated in the first round, the Ducks by the Detroit Red Wings and the Sharks by the Colorado Avalanche.

In 2000, the Los Angeles Kings were swept by the Detroit Red Wings. While the San Jose Sharks defeated the St Louis Blues in the first round, then were eliminated by the Dallas Stars in the second.

In 2001, the Sharks were eliminated by the St Louis Blues in 6 games, while the Los Angeles Kings defeated the Red Wings in 6 games, then were defeated by the Avalanche in 7 games.

In 2002, the Kings were defeated once again by the Avalanche in 7 games. The San Jose Sharks defeated the Phoenix Coyotes, then were eliminated by the Avalanche in 7 games.

2003/2004 No possible matchup but the Sharks did make it to the Western Conference Finals in 2004 and the Ducks made it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2003 (the first California team to advance that far since the Los Angeles Kings went to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1993).

In 2006, the Anaheim Ducks defeated the Calgary Flames and the Colorado Avalanche to advance to the Western Conference Finals. They waited there for the San Jose Sharks, who needed to defeat the Nashville Predators and the underdog Edmonton Oilers. Alas, the Oilers rode a hot goaltender to a 6 game series defeating the Sharks 4-2. Those same Oilers went on to defeat the Ducks, 4-1.

In 2007, the Anaheim Ducks defeated the Minnesota Wild and the Vancouver Canucks, only to be left waiting again in the Conference Finals as the Sharks defeated the Nashville Predators, but were eliminated by the Detroit Red Wings.

In 2008, it was the Ducks who were eliminated first by the Dallas Stars who then when on to defeat the Sharks, who had finished a 7 game series with the Calgary Flames.

In 2009, no waiting will be necessary. The San Jose Sharks rode a hot streak from the start of the season to the finish as the top team in the League. While the Anaheim Ducks faultered and limped for the majority of the season before finishing the season with a record of 11-3-1 to finish 8th in a very tight race for the last 3 playoff spots.

The storylines for each team couldn't be more different. For the Sharks, they were favorites from the start and fullfilled that expectation with an impressive 53-18-11 season record. The latter half of the season saw injury after injury test the Sharks. Longtime coach Ron Wilson was fired, and Todd McLellan was selected to replace him. Captain Patrick Marleau had a resurgent season with 38 goals, 33 assists.

For the Ducks it was high expectations but low execution. With an aging lineup, the Ducks rolled a lot of players through their roster trying to find some chemistry. A mediocre season and the exit of GM Brian Burke seemed to doom the Ducks to Playoff spectators instead of Playoff participants. The Trade Deadline seem to further this thought with several key players traded away. Most of the players were UFAs, but some of the players coming back were question marks in the minds of some fans. The Trade Deadline perhaps sparked the Ducks to wake up, going 11-3-1 for the remaining 15 games.

The 6-game season series between the Sharks and Ducks was weird. The first three games were won by the home teams. The last three were won by the visiting team. Three of the 6 games ended in shutouts. The Sharks record versus the Ducks was 4-2-0, and the Ducks record was 2-4-0. No games required OT.

This series will be a treat for both fans and teams. The travel required between the 2 cities is only a short 1:45 flight. Fans won't have to leave work early just to catch the start of the game, nor will fans have to stay up late just to see how a game finishes, though that may not be true if there are multiple overtimes!

>>> As always, please make your comments in the forum thread <<<

@ 8-D
Filed Under:   Sharks   Ducks   Playoffs   Itlan  
April 12, 2009 9:40 PM ET | Delete
Please make comments in the forum thread. The comment system on this website sucks!!!
April 29, 2009 11:51 PM ET | Delete
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