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Rising from the ashes?
Can the Sharks still make a playoff run?
2/9/20 - By Paul Krill -

Everyone knows the "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" skit where the black knight, having had his arms and legs lopped off by King Arthur, continues to fight on just the same in what is obviously a hopeless battle. "Just a flesh wound," he says.

Perhaps our Sharks might learn a lesson from this ridiculous comedy scene. Discussion lately has centered on the Sharks being too far out of a playoff spot to contend and being sellers, not buyers, at the trade deadline. We saw the Sharks get shut out at home last weekend against Tampa Bay and only snag two points during a three-game home stand.

The Sharks' fate as a non-playoff team seemed sealed, a situation made even worse by the team having traded away its first-round draft pick this year to Ottawa in the Erik Karlsson trade.

Then, the Sharks headed out on the road to play in Calgary and Edmonton and won both games. In the Edmonton game, the Sharks quickly fell behind 2-0, and it looked like the up-and-coming Oilers were going win easily in a rout against the faded, now-bottom-feeder Sharks. Undaunted, the Sharks came back and scored six of the game's next seven goals to win, 6-3. So, perhaps the Sharks are not quite dead yet.

All we can do right now is take one game at a time. Each win gets us two points closer to a playoff spot and, with the Sharks already expected to be done for the year by the end of the regular season, the pressure's off. This is still a team with some really good players - Timo Meier, Evander Kane, Joe Thornton, to name a few. Yes, Tomas Hertl is done for the year, because of a heartbreaking knee injury, and Logan Couture is still on the mend. But this is the time for other players to come in and shine.

Critical to our chances is Aaron Dell, who has become our number 1 goaltender. The devastating demise of Martin Jones is going to have to be dealt with by Sharks' management. Can he stage a comeback and return to the form he showed us in 2016? It's not unrealistic to have big doubts.

The fiasco in Washington in January, where the Sharks lost a game they had led by two goals with less than a minute left, may have sealed his fate. We're all pulling for him, but his GAA has gotten worse each season for the past several campaigns.

Anyway, it aint over until it's over, famous words once uttered by Yogi Berra. All we can hope for is that the Sharks exceed their now-low expectations and put together a few more wins. Maybe even enough to make the playoffs.

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