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That's Entertainment
Sharks' failed season just the way it is
4/28/09 - By Paul Krill

The Sharks' most momentous achievement, winning the President's Trophy for most regular season points, has quickly morphed into the Sharks' biggest post-season failure yet.

But that's entertainment.

Hockey is just escapist entertainment. Sports is the original reality TV, with good guys (the home team) and bad guys (the visiting team) and, unlike movies or TV dramas or sitcoms, nobody knowing what the outcome will be beforehand. That's all sports is, really.

As Sharks fans, we're not guaranteed that our team will ever, ever win a championship and that less-deserving fan bases, such as the one in Anaheim, will not. If that were the case, fans in Buffalo, Vancouver and Saint Louis, who have been waiting decades longer than we have, would have already had a Stanley Cup parade or two down their main streets.

But they have not.

So we might as well sit back and just let Sharks' games serve their purpose, which is to entertain for 2.5 hours on game nights. Anybody not entertained by the last few seconds of Saturday night's game 5 victory for the Sharks? Didn't think so.

FWIW, I'm not the only one who saw this latest playoff collapse coming. The Sharks by the end of the season had become just another team losing lots of games. What happened in the Halloween and Thanksgiving time frames, when the Sharks were defeating everyone in sight, no longer meant anything five months later.

We had to know it was all over when the Sharks lost the first two games at home in the Ducks' series. The hole simply was dug too deep for the Sharks to climb out of it. And they didn't.

Not even my ridiculous playoff plan suggested a few months ago, in which the top seeds in the first two rounds would only need to win three games to advance, would have saved the Sharks. The Ducks whipped them convincingly. Now, we can all sit and wonder which Sharks players will be back next year and who will be jettisoned.

So does this latest epic post-season collapse, which eclipsed all the other Sharks epic post-season collapses, mean we can all relax if we start losing regular season games next year since we know the regular season is kind of meaningless? I kind of doubt it.

We'll just have to restart all this in October and wait another year for the Sharks to try again. A painful prescription for Sharks fans to swallow but that's the situation we are presented with at this time.

There is, of course, a bright side to all this that has nothing to do with hockey. The economy is miserable, with thousands in the Bay Area losing jobs and home values and 401K plans plummeting. If there were ever a time to not be shelling out lots of money for hockey playoff tickets, this, unfortunately, was it.

So there you have it, the bright side. Not much consolation, I know, when the team appeared ready to clear the hurdle of post-season failure but instead failed even worse than before.

Once again, it is time for Sharks fans to find something else to do while fans in several other cities watch their teams play on. That's the way it is.

Now go hiking, take a tour of Alcatraz, take a bike ride or go see a baseball game or something. Because the mighty Sharks have struck out.

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