Just been a thought I've been mulling around recently, and thought I'd throw the question out to the FTF community for discussion. In hindsight, should the Sharks have thrown the last game of the season with LA in order to face the D. Sedin-less Canucks in the 1st round?
Sure, you might say that the Sharks would have had to play the Blues eventually (not necessarily true, if LA took them out), but let's just say the Sharks faced the Blues in the 2nd round instead of the 1st round. Organizationally, a 2nd round exit from the playoffs, especially after defeating the #1 seeded Canucks, would be regarded MUCH more favorably than a 1st round exit for a Sharks team with high expectations.
Now, I'm not assuming the Sharks would have beaten Vancouver in the 1st round. But it sure seems like they would have been a much easier draw than St. Louis, especially when you consider they're playing without Daniel Sedin. Vancouver's just a team that the Sharks match up much better against in terms of the type of game they play and personnel-wise.
The Blues suffocating defensive game is just the absolute kryptonite of this Sharks team.