The Sharks GDP has taken a bit of a hit lately, with consumption (of points) being the sole cause. Thankfully, there is hope on the horizon. Gross investment remains strong (players currently injured who will play in the playoffs), government spending (salaries) is at a franchise high, and net exports (trade deadline deals) on the plus side of the spectrum.
With the Wings losing last night to the Islanders, the Sharks have gotten a Presidents' Trophy bailout. It's time to take that money and run. Here's a look at both teams remaining schedule, with statistics from the games played against those opponents:
San Jose Sharks
Detroit Red Wings
* signifies a team that is currently in the playoff race.
Looking at the remaining schedules, Detroit has the advantage in terms of playing at home more often than San Jose, while the Sharks face less playoff push teams. With games in hand and the point total tied, it could be said that the Sharks may have an extremely slight advantage after Detroit's loss to the Isles- an advantage that can be taken, well, advantage of tonight. Regardless, this race to the one seed will most likely come down to games 81 & 82.
As for the first seed, here's my take on it- very important. San Jose hasn't fared well in The Joe this season (or during the entire franchise's history really), and provided either of the teams make it to the Western Conference Finals, gaining home ice advantage remains an extremely important asset to winning that series. If we get the two seed? Not the end of the world of course, but at the crux of the regular season process lies the ideal of putting yourself in the best position possible to win the Stanley Cup. The first seed puts them in a much better position to obtain that goal; both by facing theoretically weaker teams along the road, as well as forcing teams to win at the extremely unhospitable Shark Tank.
At the end of the day however, Tahoe reiterated an astute point yesterday when he said, "If we finish second, we should be able to beat Detroit in the Joe. We don't deserve the Cup if we can't. And the same in reverse."
Couldn't agree more.