You know that song, the one that starts off slow and quiet, the one you always sing to yourself when you step into a murky ocean. When you don't know what is underneath you.
Duh-Na, Duh-Na, Duh Duh Duh Duh Duh Duh Duh-Na Duh Duh Duh, Duh Na Na!
Yes, the San Jose Sharks are still on the hunt for more blood after winning 10 games. For most of the season, and in a way, are still under everyone's radar. Think of it as the media coverage of the West as the murky ocean, with many things under the water, most people in the east do not pay attention to. Now, most hockey media outlets are finally giving the Sharks the credit they deserve, however it is not enough still. I have a feeling that will change as the season ends and the playoffs begin.
The rest of the league should be on full-scale Shark alert because San Jose is hungry for a Stanley Cup. The Sharks have the pieces finally in place to make a run and anything but the Stnaley Cup in San Jose is not an option. Sure, the Sharks still have work to do by not taking too many penalties and not letting up on the gas, but this team is dangerous.
Joe Thornton is 2nd in assists again, Jonathan Cheechoo has been on fire, Patrick Marleau has returned, Jody Shelley has added toughness back into the lineup, Brian Campbell has made the defense much better, and Nabokov has been dominant in goal.
One thing that irks me is the lack of respect Nabby is getting. No mention of being a Vezina or Hart candidate. And if you have watched the Sharks all season, you would know that he has always been there when the Sharks needed him the most, and kept San Jose in many games this season where the Sharks would have been blown out if it was not Nabokov in net. If he continues to not get the credit he deserves or win one of those trophies that is fine, all we want, who follow the Sharks, is the Stanley Cup.
Not only is the talent there for the Sharks, but right now the focus, drive, and confidence seem to be where it needs to be if this team wants to keep playing strong. The win streak will end at some point, the Sharks are not going to go undefeated from now til the end of the playoffs, but a bump in the road is not going to slow down this team.
If you have not been watching the Sharks, you better start paying attention because as this win streak has shown, the Sharks can play anyone's game. Whether is a wide open goal for goal game, like the 6-4 win over Montreal, or playing a more shut-down defensive game like in Pittsburgh. The Sharks have enough tools to play both styles of hockey.
This season has been very frustrating for fans, with the ups and downs, the lack of a full effort in games, a change in the logo, and the home record before New Year's. Also the 5-game losing streak before the win streak seemed to be the low point of the season. Due to this season, and the past two seasons' early playoff exits have left the loyal teal bleeding fans of San Jose hurt and frustrated.
Now, due to the Sharks 10 game win streak, the return of Marleau and Cheechoo, and the addition of Shelley and Campbell, fan morale has not been this high all season.
The last two home games at the Tank had a playoff atmosphere, and the building will only get louder as the playoffs get closer. There is a reason why a recent NHL players poll had the Sharks tied for 6th overall with Toronto and 2nd in the U.S. with the best hockey fans. Only behind Minnesota in the U.S. So yes, that means in front of Detroit, Buffalo, Philly, and all other U.S. cities that think they have better fans than the Wild and Sharks.
To be honest, I have not felt so good as a Sharks fan all season and in the past two seasons. This team is very good and very dangerous. It is not just me being a biased fan, it is believing what I am seeing. And it is hard to disagree with what I am seeing.
I was an intern with the Buffalo Sabres, and living in an eastern city gives me the opportunity to know everything going on in the league, and I know when a team is a contender or a pretender.
The Sharks are finally showing why everyone picked them to win the Stanley Cup, and everyone who is going to face the Sharks are going to face a very hard team to beat. The Sharks still have two tough tests ahead against Dallas and Anaheim, but I am very confident that the Sharks will beat their main division rivals.
When you look at your schedule and see the Sharks are coming up, that song is going to creep into your head, and give you chills because you know what your team is about to face. The water is red right now, and the Sharks are going to stay hungry as the playoffs get closer and closer.
Beware of the Sharks, because the water is already bloody and the Sharks are hungry for more.