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Buyer Beware
Will This Year Be Any Different?
3/13/16 - By Paul Krill -

We've just finished three games against the Canucks in the past two weeks, where the Sharks won the two games on the road, only to come home and lose, thanks to an absence of penalty-killing. Then, the Sharks go out and kill it on the road, beating Calgary and Edmonton, only to come home and get shut out by subpar New Jersey and its backup goaltender. So it's a mixed bag: road dominance, home struggles.

The good news is, the Sharks appear set to re-enter the playoffs and Doug Wilson's high-stakes gamble on goalie Martin Jones appears to be paying off. Jones has been amazing lately.

Now what?

The Sharks will finish up the regular season during the next month and most likely reintroduce themselves and fans to playoff hockey after a one-season hiatus. But what then? Will the Sharks erase the curse of 2014, when fans were left devastated by the Sharks' losing a series they had led three games to none? Will this year be a wholly new chapter in which the Sharks get through the first two rounds and then the conference championship, finding themselves in Uncharted Territory - the Stanley Cup Final?

At this point, I'm going to need some convincing. The Sharks would need to get past some combination of Dallas, Chicago, Nashville, Los Angeles and Anaheim, all of whom have more points than the Sharks, at this juncture. If they get to the Finals, could they get past Washington, which is running away with the Eastern Conference. Well, I won't get worried about Washington right now because they, too, have a history of playoff letdowns.

I'm one of those fans that has found it hard this season to maintain my previous high level of interest in the Sharks. And the empty seats and troubles selling out this season show that I'm not the only one. A level of "What's the use?" set in after the 2014 season and last season's playoff miss.

So right now, I'll take the Sharks "rebirth" with a grain of salt. They've played solid hockey, especially on the road, but haven't proven anything yet. We've all spent many days in years past excited about the Sharks' chances in April only to find the season's over not long after. Will this year be any different? We'll have to wait another month+ to find out.

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