If you live in the Bay Area, or have connections to the Bay Area Sports Scene, such as it is, you already know the San Jose Sharks are playing in the Stanley Cup Final. You probably even know this is the first time in franchise history the Sharks have gotten this close to lifting the Stanley Cup.
What you might now know is why you should care. If you've abstained from the Sharks bandwagon up to this point, you've made a mistake. The good news is that there's still plenty of time to rectify that error. Below I'll hit you with five reasons that now is the time to inject teal into your life.
This team can win it all
We watch sports for lots of reasons, but winning is pretty close to the top of the list. This Sharks team is very talented and while the Penguins are also quite good, San Jose has about an even shot to take home the title.
You'll fall in love with these players
You might already know that Joe Thornton needs to score four goals, Brent Burns is related to Chewbacca and Tomas Hertl loves to have fun — or maybe you didn't. Even if you did, guys like Joel Ward and Marc-Edouard Vlasic are just fun players to cheer for.
The Sharks are offense-oriented
While the NHL has seen scoring tail off in recent years, the Sharks play a very offense-friendly style. A far cry from what we feared after hiring the head coach of the New Jersey Devils (Pete DeBoer, in his first year with the Sharks), this San Jose team still scores a bunch of goals.
Plenty of that is thanks to the Sharks' incredible power-play, which ranked as the third best in the NHL this season. San Jose has the highest goals-per-game scored mark in the NHL during the postseason, scoring 3.5 per game.
Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau
If you've been around the Bay Area long enough, you know who these guys are. What you might not know is that Thornton is extremely generous with his time and Patrick Marleau is finally getting his chance on the big stage. Marleau has spent his entire career with the Sharks while Thornton has been in the Bay Area since late in 2005.
Both of these guys have taken most of the heat when postseason results haven't gone the Sharks way (whether they deserved it or not) and both are looking to exorcise some demons against the Penguins. Win or lose, though, these guys are as much a fixture of Bay Area sports as anyone playing for the Giants, Warriors, Kings, 49ers, Raiders, Earthquakes or A's.
I'm sorry if I left your team out.
You'll have a blast watching this Stanley Cup Final
The Sharks and Penguins play an exciting, high-tempo style that lends itself perfectly to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Expect games with plenty of scoring, lead changes and overtimes. These are the games that may take a few years off your life if you're a die-hard Sharks fan, but if you're a neutral just getting your foot in the water I can't think of a better time to do it.
So go ahead, tune your TV to NBC at 5 p.m. PDT on Monday. You won't regret it.