Sharks Gameday: So It Goes

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7:30 PST
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23-20-7, 53 points 33-10-8, 74 points
11th in Western Conference
1st in Western Conference
Television
CSN-CA
Radio
98.5 KFOX, Sjsharks.com
Antagonists
Anaheim Calling
Battle of California

No matter how intensely the feelings bubble up from the crevices of your godforsaken soul when the Anaheim Ducks hit the ice in San Jose, it's hard to cite any compelling reasons that make this game more significant than any other the Sharks will face these next seven days. In fact, it's fairly low on the totem pole when you sit down to consider tonight from a "matchup" standpoint, emotional retribution be damned. Los Angeles and Chicago were and are among the Western Conference measuring sticks at this stage of the game, as a combined 4-3-2 against the two compared to a 4-0-0 against Anaheim will tell you.

And that's sort of sad when you think about it; a fan's perspective, built on the foundation of passion and bloodthirst, cast aside in favor of raw numbers and "how these teams match up" hypothetical speculation. Ah how the tide of The Months That Shall Not Be Named triumph over all, the undertow slowly dragging even the most resilient of observers into it's murky depths. So it goes.

Concurrently, a three point game reeking of the banality that asinine loser points have tarnished our great game with (how's that for a superlative) isn't a concern for both teams either, a rarity in the usually tight-at-this-point-with-the-exception-of-last-season Pacific division. 21 points separate the state rivals in the standings, and barring an epic fall from grace in San Jose and an epic rise in the standings from the Anaheim Ducks, the likes of which haven't been seen since the long forgotten St. Louis Blues of 2009 (who, although Vancouver may tell you differently, were the real regular season rags to riches story of yesteryear if not the last five), it's unlikely Anaheim comes raring up the rungs of the pedestal San Jose has currently perched itself upon. For the time being of course, as it's plainly obvious to see that overconfidence and postseason voodoo, not historically top heavy goal production or a slightly above league average blueline, will cause the imminent destruction of the San Jose Sharks once they complete 82 games.

That and the fact that the Sharks are peaking too early; a holy trinity of trials and tribulations too vast to ever possibly overcome. So it goes.

This team is far from perfect, as those who have followed the franchise through thick and thin well know. And while ignoring the plague of skepticism that colors every single goddamn talking point the MSM and crackpot theorists will feed us until Patrick Marleau finally leads this team to the glory land is definitely the rational solution, there's always a part of me that is unfortunately looking at this team with an objective viewpoint, or at least one that attempts to be as objective as possible; fighting the gravitational pull of a 14-2 goal scoring outburst the last two games in order to remain level-head when dissecting the team. Maybe some of you feel the same way-- so and so looked good, so and so looked bad, you have to wonder how Nabokov is going to hold up with all the starts he's been getting, McLellan's managed injuries well, McLaren should be called up again, McGinn should have never been sent down, lines should be changed like this, pairings should be changed like that, gotta make a trade to bolster the blueline, and on, and on, and on, and on.

Tonight, to hell with it all.

To hell with the numbers and matchups and looking forward and analysis and spotting trends and surgical incisions into the guts of the team. Because at the end of the day Anaheim is in town, and no matter how far the two teams are separated in the standings or how many times the Sharks have laid waste to them this season, the bite marks are still there. Sure it's scarred over, and the sting has slowly ebbed away, but it's a poison still runs freely in your veins. Nothing short of a lengthy playoff run will taste as sweet as watching Corey Perry get steamrolled by a pinching Douglas Murray to spring a loose puck that Marleau gobbles up and puts past Hiller five-hole. Nothing.

I don't care who you are or where you're from. If you can't get up for a game against Anaheim, you have lost your damn soul.

Prediction: Sharks win 3-0. Goals by Marleau, Boyle, and Malhotra. Carlyle makes a doo doo in his pants.

 

Go Sharks.

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