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No Redemption
Unlike the Bruins, the Sharks' historic collapse will not have a happy follow-up
3/24/15 - By Paul Krill -

In 2010, the Boston Bruins became the first team since 1975 to lose a playoff series that they had been leading three games to none. But never fear - the Bruins redeemed themselves the following season by winning the Stanley Cup. All's well that ends well.

As we know all too well here in San Jose, the Sharks blew a 3-0 series lead last year, unable to beat the Kings in any of the subsequent four games, including Game 7 in San Jose, in the first round. That devastating elimination left fans frustrated, angry and maybe even humiliated. But life had to go on.

A largely unchanged Sharks squad took back to the ice in October, hoping for a better result than last season. Unfortunately, it's looking very much like the Sharks and their fans will not get redemption, with the team highly unlikely to even make the playoffs.

Disappointing seasons from players such as Tomas Hertl, Matt Nieto and Patrick Marleau, compounded by inconsistent goaltending and poor play at home, have left the Sharks on the outside looking in with just a few weeks left to qualify for the playoffs. The current, critical 7-game road trip has not gotten off to a good start, with the Sharks losing two of the first three games.

So it looks like there will be no playoff excitement in downtown San Jose this year, the first time since 2003 that the team has missed the playoffs. The offseason could see the departure of any number of players, the coach and maybe even general manager Doug Wilson. Meanwhile, longtime franchise players Joe Thornton and Marleau are not getting any younger.

I can't help but wonder if the Oakland A's trade-happy general manager Billy Beane would have traded the two of them several years earlier while they still had significant value, if he were running the Sharks. (We've all heard of the obvious animosity Thornton has had for Wilson over the captaincy debacle, with the Sharks' dirty laundry becoming very public recently.)

Sharks fans will most likely be relegated to watching the playoffs on TV this year and not live in San Jose. It's something we might have to get used to, since it's highly questionable that this mediocre team can stampede back to the top of the standings anytime soon.


Contact Paul at at paulkrill@letsgosharks.com




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