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Let's not get ahead of ourselves
Sharks have a long, long way to go still
5/8/13 - By Paul Krill -

As I write this, the Sharks are closer to a Stanley Cup championship this season than any other team and they will still be in that position at least until tomorrow. The team steamrolled the Whiny Cheaters (I mean the Vancouver Canucks) for the Sharks' first-ever playoff series sweep on Tuesday, giving the Sharks and fans several days to relax before the playoff stress begins anew.

All this had me thinking, briefly, about whether I might want to meet the Sharks at 3 am at the airport in case they win the Cup on the road. Also, I thought about how many days I should take off for the Sharks Cup parade and how many hours - or even days - I should arrive in advance.

But of course, it's still way, way to early to start fantasizing like this. Don't forget - the Sharks did themselves a big favor by losing the last game of the year against the Kings and ending up with Vancouver as their first-round opponent instead of Saint Louis. The Sharks have owned Vancouver this year and, while we keep hearing the playoffs are a whole new ballgame, this domination continued into the post-season.

The real test could come in Round 2 if the Sharks have to play Chicago. If the Sharks can get by the Blackhawks - and that's a big if - then the Sharks might be for real and we might see our first-ever championship. However, there are still more than a dozen other teams still alive. The Sharks would have to be the last men standing to take the prize and they have three more rounds of playoffs to go.

Having several days off, which the Sharks obviously will have between the first and second rounds, could be a double-edged sword. While this gives players rest and a chance to heal, rust also can set in. Remember when the Devils faced the Ducks in 2003?

The Ducks hadn't played in 11 days when they met the Devils and were so rusty they lost two games before getting their legs back. All the Devils needed to do then was win two of the next five games. And that's what they did. The Sharks for the long term might have been better off losing last night.

Hopefully, the Sharks won't be negatively impacted by the long break. And the fans can enjoy a nice weekend free of Sharks playoff tension. Because after that, the games start again. The playoffs are supposed to be the height of enjoyment for diehard hockey fans, but for me, the stress and tension can keep me up at night. But maybe this time when it's all over, I might indeed by getting up in the middle of the night to greet the Sharks at the airport, with the team carrying that big silver trophy off the team plane.

We'll know soon enough.






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