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Don't get too excited - at least not yet
We've seen this first-round dominance before
4/22/14 - By Paul Krill -

So far, so good. Through two playoff games, the Sharks have dominated their opponent, the Los Angeles Kings, with just a couple of glitches. These include falling behind 2-0 in Game 2 and giving up three goals in the first 14 minutes of the third period of Game 1. But the Sharks have poured in 13 goals against a Kings team known for stingy defense and great goaltending.

Just today, a co-worker congratulated me on the Sharks' performance. I cautioned, though, that it is too early to get excited. Way too early. We've seen the Sharks dominate in the first round before. As a matter of fact, one thing overlooked in the Sharks' earning a reputation as playoff underperformers is that they have been pretty good in the first round of the playoffs, dating back to their first-ever playoff appearance in 1994, when they beat the heavily favored Red Wings in seven games.

They've won 11 times in the first round, based on my quick research. It's usually in Round 2, however, where the wheels come off for the Sharks. Occasionally, it's been in Round 3. We don't need to discuss any theoretical Round 4 appearances since we're still waiting for one, as we all know too well.

Let's presume, for the sake of argument, that the Sharks can pretty much have their ticket stamped for a berth in Round 2 at this point. They only need to beat the Kings two games in the next five while the Kings have to win four of five games. Not a sure thing, but these are pretty good odds for the Sharks. Who would the Sharks then play in the second round?

Well, the Sharks are likely to play powerhouse Anaheim, without home ice advantage. Can the Sharks beat Anaheim in a seven-game series? Sure. Will the odds be in the Sharks' favor? Uh, no. In their most recent matchup two weeks ago, the Ducks beat the Sharks 5-2 in Anaheim. Not a good omen for the Sharks.

I hate to rain on the parade, but unless the stars align for the Sharks and the Dallas Stars beat Anaheim in the first round (which seems unlikely now), then the Sharks' fans euphoria of the moment could likely evaporate in about two to three weeks.

Sorry, but that's just the way it is.



Contact Paul at at paulkrill@letsgosharks.com




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