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A Measure of Redemption
Two years of mourning is over
4/23/16 - By Paul Krill -

The Sharks have won their first playoff series in three years. More importantly, they have defeated the Kings, with the series not even going all that far, only five games. We all know how it worked out the last time these two teams met in the playoffs in 2014: the Sharks won the first three games and then rolled over and played dead in a historic choke that has resulted in the Sharks' once-vaunted sellout streak being a thing of the past, thanks to some people just losing interest. The sting of that series is removed to a small extent, anyway.

Despite a continued penchant for coughing up big leads (which happened in games 4 and 5 of this series), the Sharks have to feel good about moving on. Me, though, I won't get too excited yet because we have been in this situation all too often: The Sharks start out looking good in the playoffs, dreams of Stanley Cup parades dance in our heads and then the team fades quickly, usually in the second round, maybe even the third.

This is a somewhat different team than two years ago: While the core of Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski is still there, goaltender Martin Jones, brought in from the Bruins via the hated Kings, is new to the Sharks scene this year. While he had his bad moments, he has probably saved GM Doug Wilson's job with excellent play in goal for the most part.

Now it is time to move forward. Yes, the sting of the 2014 flameout still is part of our history; it will never fully go away. But the Sharks have already written a happier ending to this season than the disastrous end to the 2014 campaign and last year's playoff-less season.

At least we get a few days now to rest on the laurels of this delightful first round victory. Then it will be time for the Sharks to take the ice again and attempt to erase completely the franchise's reputation as playoff disappointments. The time is here, Sharks. Make the most of it.

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