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One More Red Wing Nightmare
Red Wings season-long slump doesn't include let-ups against Sharks
2/3/10 - By Paul Krill -

So how does everyone feel about the Sharks' chances so far this year? And why do I fear that 2010 will end in a nightmare similar to 2009 and before that? Well, if we look at the Western Conference standings on Wednesday, we see that the Sharks are tops, which means if the playoffs were held today, they would play the eighth-ranked team. And who would that be?

Why, that would be the Detroit Red Wings, who are having a disappointing season that has left them nearly out of the playoff picture. But the Red Wings, as they have in the past, continue to have their merry way against the Sharks, going 3-0 against them so far this year. In a worst-case scenario, it might even look like a first-round Red Wings-Sharks matchup would be the equivalent of a first-round bye for the Red Wings.

Oh no - not again.

Tuesday's game started out OK, with the Sharks jumping out to a 2-0 lead that nearly became a 3-0 lead. But the party was over after that, with the Red Wings tallying four unanswered goals, thanks in part to Rob Blake shooting the puck into the stands on a penalty kill, resulting in a 5-on-3 disadvantage, and a questionable call against Ryane Clowe late in the game.

It's all water under the bridge, though. The Sharks again came up short against a slumping Red Wings team that actually has lost more games than it's won this season, if you count overtime and shootout losses.

The Shark Tank continues to be a Den of Celebration for transplanted Red Wings fans who flock to the building twice a year during the regular season in those candy-cane Red Wings sweaters.

As long as the Sharks cannot beat the Red Wings and need a super-human performance by Nabokov to beat the Blackhawks, it's going to be tough for the Sharks to advance far into the playoffs. The Dany Heatley trade and Patrick Marleau's MVP-level season will all be exercises in futility if these patterns continue.

All we can do is hope the Sharks figure out a way to beat these two teams. But it's getting late.

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