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Stadium Series: Golden Opportunity Squandered
All that was needed was a Sharks win to end what would have been a perfect evening
2/22/15 - By Paul Krill -

What an event it was at Jed York Coliseum, better known as Levi's Stadium, in Santa Clara on Saturday night. More than 70,000 people attending a Sharks game, Sharks alumni introduced to the crowd, fireworks, John Fogerty (!), Melissa Etheridge. The NHL put on quite a show and the weather certainly cooperated. (Years ago, I wrote a column about what a bad idea an outdoor Sharks game could be, if the weather became a problem. It was not).

At a time when the Sharks are losing a lot and fan enthusiasm is on the wane, this outdoor spectacle was just what the Sharks needed to regenerate goodwill and get the fans excited again. All the team needed to do was win the game to cap off the evening.

But they did not.

An abysmal start led to a quick Kings goal. The Sharks then dominated the second half of the first period, tying the game, and took control in the second period before floundering in the beginning of the third period, leading to the Kings' winning goal. The Sharks never led and once again had great difficulty scoring.

So, all the Kings fans, many of whom presumably drove the five hours north to get here, went home happy, while the throngs of Sharks fans witnessed yet another Sharks home loss, this time in a whole new outdoor venue. Perhaps that is all we can expect from this year's squad: too many losses and missed opportunities. This is the 2014-15 San Jose Sharks; an outdoor spectacle celebrating Northern California hockey was not going to be enough to alter this team's downward path.

…Penalty Shots.

Transportation to the game was an event in itself. My son and I had to shoehorn ourselves onto a mega-crowded VTA Light Rail train, where a fight almost broke out a few stops later. The return trip required a wait of almost an hour just to get on a train and then we had to sit on the bike racks because that was all that was left, besides standing.

At least we didn't drive and pay $50 to park. It does appear that getting to Levi's and getting home afterward is and is going to remain a problem…At the game, we bought a hot dog, garlic fries, chicken fingers, a Pepsi and a bottle of water. For $36. Ouch. But the stadium itself is spectacular.

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