Sharks Gameday: Uncomfortable

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7:30 PST
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48-27-5, 101 points 49-20-11, 109 points
3rd in Western Conference
2nd in Western Conference

Television
CSN-CA
Versus
Radio
98.5 KFOXSjsharks.com
Antagonists
Nucks Misconduct

Watching the games unfold last night, I was put in a situation that made me feel uneasy. 

I was rooting for the Detroit Red WIngs... and damn it all, I'll be rooting for them to win until the regular season comes to a close.

A few things happened last night that cleared up the playoff picture, and more importantly shed some light on which team the Sharks will face in the first round. Although most of us have been pulling our hair out dreading the possible draw of the Winged Wheel, tonight's events make that matchup seem much less likely. No, Chicago didn't lose, even though the Blues mounted one hell of a third period comeback with nothing left to play for but pride. Instead, the Hawks take over the first seed in the West and hold all the tie breakers against San Jose. Unless Chicago loses their last two games, I'm assuming they stay there.

Detroit, however, helped us out. With a win tonight, they jumped back into the fifth seed in the West, and have a game in hand over sixth seeded Nashville. Even though the Predators have the same amount of points as the Wings, Detroit has one more game left to play. That makes Nashville's road to a top six seed even more difficult.

The Predators sit a point ahead of the Kings (who have three left to play), and four points ahead of a Colorado team which has two remaining after losing tonight to Edmonton. (Speaking of the Oilers, they've really held their own as of late, playing much better hockey than they did earlier in the season)

That drawn out explanation of the standings leads us to this: If Detroit picks up one more point and Nashville loses their last match against the Blues on Saturday, there's no chance that the Sharks will face Detroit in the first round. Needless to say, I'll be pulling for St. Louis and Detroit in the coming days. Hell, I'm even hoping LA finds a way to win two out of three. I'd take Nashville or Colorado over any of the other teams in a heartbeat.

That being said, the Sharks shouldn't spend tonight or Saturday scoreboard watching. Yes, it's ok to rest Dan Boyle a bit. Yes, Greiss should maybe get a look in the next two games. However, taking it easy on the opposition should remain out of the question for a San Jose team that has had difficulty establishing momentum post-Olympics. 

If they end up with the two seed, it's probably not the end of the world (as explained above). However, every Sharks skater should be working for that one seed. It's not a necessary goal to achieve, but damn it would be nice to see.

Prediction: Sharks win 3-1. Goals by Couture (x2) and Thornton. Joe is extra careful around the boards.

Go Sharks.

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