I was sitting and talking with a few friends about the NHL yesterday. One thing we could all agree on was that the Sharks, Red Wings and Boston all were the most consistant teams through the course of the season.
All were legitimate contenders for the Presidents Trophy for most, if not the entire year.
But that was it....thats all we agreed upon...the rest of our conversation was stringed together with certain 4 letter obsenities (i like the sharks, 2 of my frineds are Blackhawk fans, the other is a Detroit Fan) about who may possibly win the cup, and who is going home early.
The Sharks beging the 3rd season (1st is pre-season, 2nd reg. season, 3rd Playoffs) on thursday the 16th. Only then will we see if they have both the physical and mental toughness to go beyond their previous highlights. There are a few questions that come to mind about this team...ill list them for everyone to think about.
-- Will the proven cup winners like Boyle, Luko, Blake and Moan have the desired effect on the Sharks mental toughness?
-- How effective are our players returning from injury going to be, considering how close to the playoffs they returned?
-- With Big Joe shake off the title of being a playoff underperformer?
-- Marleau had a career season this year. Will he bring it to the playoffs?
-- New head coach...Different system....How will it shape their playoff performance?
-- Everyone knows the Ducks are a physical team (some say borderline dirty, but i'll leave that portion up to interpretation), how will the sharks respond?
-- Of the Sophmore's and Juniors on the team, who (if any) are going to shine in the playoffs?
There are probably plenty more questions that i or anyone else can think of...but to me the above are most offten in my mind. I am not going to sit here and answer them for you either becasue #1 don't have enough time right now and #2 its for the Sharks to answer not me. They have their destiny in their own hands...they have home ice through the entire playoffs...they can make or break themselves.
From here on out, the reg. season is irrelavent. Forget the Presidents Trophy too. The Cup is all that matters from here on out, and the 16 wins needed to get to that goal. The playoffs are here people...can you hear them knocking?