Yesterday (February 1st) I turned 22 and was looking forward to some post-all star break Sharks Hockey. I came home after my birthday dinner with the girlfriend and found the Sharks losing 2-0. I then found out that the government had seized atdhe so I watched the game through veetle, during which the Coyotes went up 3-0. No more atdhe, and a Sharks blowout loss on my 22nd birthday. Things were not looking good for my birthday, and I was very close to turning the game off to focus on other things like not being depressed on my birthday. But I maintained my tradition of finishing every Sharks game (including last year's 7-2 loss to the Hawks and this year's 4-0 loss to the Kings), and oh boy was I rewarded.
The Sharks proceeded to do many things I did not know they were capable of. Not only did they come back from a 3-0 hole to win 5-3, but in the dreaded third period of all ways. I found myself elated, jumping in my room, Pacifico spilling on the floor and me not caring one bit. Goal after goal was pumped in and it almost felt like they knew it was my birthday. I'm not trying to selfishly say that tonight's victory was for me or anything. But I wanted to express my gratitude to the San Jose Sharks for one helluva show and making my 22nd birthday a night to remember. I also reflected a lot on the Sharks season so far, and realize how good we have had it in the past few years and how little we appreciate it.
Usually around this time of year, we are asking the question "how far will we make it in the playoffs?" rather than "will me make the playoffs period?". That says a lot about our team's performance over the past few years. We have totally taken having a consistent playoff contender for granted in my opinion. So much so that even when we are in 8th place (still in the playoff picture), everyone starts getting all panicky and jumping ship. Coming into our game against the Coyotes, we were 4-0-1 in our last 5 games, earning 9 of the possible 10 points during that stretch. And yet I had never seen the kind of pessimism that I saw heading into the game. Everyone was talking about how our streak was snapped and how we always play terrible post-break hockey. Well if you ask me, we can't ask much more from our boys than we have gotten in the past 6 games: 11 of the possible 12 points. That is damn good you guys. Our game is still not perfect, but we have a lot to be thankful for as Sharks fans (imagine if we were Islander fans or Thrasher fans).
Seeing as I go to college in socal, I'm thinking of invading the Duck pond to see the Sharks play tonight. This most recent game was a catalyst of appreciation for me, and I hope it was to all of us. I hadn't been that amped during a Sharks game since our 6-5 victory over the Redwings two years ago. (Seriously, watch this if you need to remember the good days)
FTF has always had reasonable criticism in my opinion. We never get too doomsday-esque when things are bad. However, let's remember that we fans of the greatest franchise in the NHL, and we should never hang our heads in shame. We might be asking ourselves questions we are not used to asking around this time of year. We might feel a sense of urgency this time of year we have not felt in some time. But don't ever lower your chins my brethren.
Thank you San Jose Sharks for all of the good times