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Here we go again
Will new season bring same-old, same-old?
9/28/08 - By Paul Krill

Once again, it's time for us to start planning for Sharks games and hope for the best, despite our hopes being dashed too early in what seems like every season of the Sharks' existence.

In recent campaigns, the Sharks have been the subject of lofty expectations and predictions of Stanley Cup championships. Unfortunately, these predictions have turned out to be as accurate as predictions that World War I would be the war to end all wars.

As we know, the Sharks have bowed out in the sixth game of the second round the past three seasons. Just like Halley's Comet appearing every 75 years without fail, the Sharks have folded the same time each season.

In fact, the Sharks have lost to lower seeds in three of the past four seasons, with the Sharks' playoff opponents mocking the NHL's seeding system that was supposed to give the higher ranked team an advantage. It hasn't worked out that way for the Sharks.

Want more depressing stats? Good. I thought so. Here's a good one. Of all the early-1990s expansion teams (Sharks, Senators, Lightning, Ducks, Panthers), only the Sharks, who joined the league first, have failed to ever get to the Big Dance (aka the Stanley Cup Finals). Two of those teams, the Lightning and the hated Ducks, have carted the fancy silver trophy home to fans not as deserving as the ones here in San Jose.

So here we go again. Are any of you like me? With excitement tempered by a feeling of resignation that this season will be no better than previous ones, no matter what the Sharks try? Bring in this guy, ship out this guy? It will only be another second-round exit?

Attending the Sharks annual Teal-and-White practice this week did get my spirits up. I discovered that Rob Blake and I share a couple of traits: We both write left and shoot right. And I got Jeff Friesen to autograph the same copy of "Feeding Frenzy" that he autographed about 14 years ago when he was a teenager.

Of course, we don't know what is going to happen this season. I have had a hard time getting excited about the very, very long regular season. I wish the playoffs began right now.

But that's not how it works. The Sharks must start all over again and repeat the same old script that this Sharks' team is ready for big-time glory.

Maybe they'll actually be right this time around.

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