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High anxiety
Stress is well worth it
5/16/06 - By Paul Krill

The Sharks certainly have come a long way this season, since the pre-Joe Thornton days when the team was on a 10-game losing streak and looked like it had no chance to be where it is now: in the second round of the playoffs.

I, for one, find the playoffs to be one of the most stressful times of the year. The days when the Sharks are not playing are a welcome relief from the anxiety of wondering if they will win or not on game days.

The 5-on-1 disadvantage in Game 2, precipitated by two Sharks having broken sticks, and the first 10 minutes of Game 3 certainly were not for the faint of heart. Of course, it's all worth it when the Sharks manage to win. Right now, we don't know how far they will go: Will they win the Stanley Cup or be sent packing by the Oilers?

I guess that's the best thing about hockey: You don't really get a chance to relax. I kicked back during Game 4 of the first round series against Nashville when the Sharks were up 5 to 2. Then all of a sudden, it was a one-goal game again the possibility of the Sharks losing became very real.

It was great, however, to watch the team gel in these playoffs and play some great defense. There certainly is a difference in the intensity level in the playoffs as opposed to the regular season.

It is great to see guys like Patrick Marleau and (backup?) Vesa Toskala at the top of their game, at least until Game 4 of the current series.

Fans are kind of getting their money's worth, with four home wins so far in these playoffs against one loss. I drove by the arena Friday and saw people lined up to get tickets for the next game, the 6-3 debacle played on Sunday.

But how will it all end? Stay tuned.

...Penalty shots...The dispute between the city and the Sharks over the airport curfew is disappointing, to say the least. One city councilman was quoted saying no one is exempt, not even the Sharks. Meanwhile, the Sharks have cited competitive concerns over flying into Oakland late at night. This apparently has fallen on deaf ears. It makes it sound like the Sharks are not all that appreciated by the city which, by the way, wants to attract the Oakland A's to San Jose.

How does that make the Sharks feel to be dismissed by their host city like that? At what point will the city tell the A's they can't fly in to the airport after 11:30 pm? Meanwhile, I, myself, am one of the neighbors of the airport, although landings don't really affect me much (takeoffs do). I don't really see a happy medium here unless somebody can get the Sharks one of those quiet planes big enough to seat the whole team, or moving the airport out of downtown.

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