I’ve stared at a blank page for almost two hours now, starting and deleting probably 15 times. Every time I get going I hit a wall and start over, only to have the blank white page taunt me again. But after sitting here stumped, I started to realize the beauty in a blank page. It’s an empty canvas waiting for stories not yet told. Stories with twists and turns, ups and downs. Stories that could have any ending, even those storybook endings where the hero rides off into the sunset.
These blank pages are almost like a second shot, or a chance to start over again. Let the past be the past, and start fresh and forge a new story. Free yourself from your past failures and allow a new story to take hold. Having this ability to start anew isn’t something you always get the chance to do. But luckily for San Jose, the playoffs are like their own new blank page.
It’s April 10, 2019 and we are hours away from puck drop of round one, Game 1, which means the canvas is still blank. The stories haven’t been told and the winners unknown. There is time to put down the story you want to tell and the story you want to live on forever.
See, as a Sharks fan, it’s easy to remember failure after failure, year after year of heartache. It’s hard to forget a thing like a reverse sweep or a quadruple overtime heartbreaker. There’s no amount of time that will make it easier to hear the choke jokes and the Shorks taunts. We are a fan base forged in loss and molded by sadness and all of our stories end in defeat.
But every April, the Sharks are handed a new page, a new blank slate to write a new chapter of Sharks hockey in. Every April, we feel the flicker deep inside us that says “this is the year.” Every April, we believe again. This could be the year that the story ends not with heads hung, but with arms raised aloft in triumph.
And I know that the journey so far has been rocky to say the least. There was a slow start, a second in the division finish, Karlsson injuries and a goaltender that just can’t seem to find it this year. I know the path to the top of the mountain starts in the hardest spot. Vegas is quite good and will give San Jose all they can handle and then some. But you know what? San Jose can give it right back.
With the fresh start of the playoffs here, now is the time to believe. Believe again that the ending to this story will be the one we all want. Believe in this Sharks offense breaking down the doors of the defense. Believe that Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns can be the best one-two punch on the blueline in the league. Believe in Playoff Jones. Believe in Tomas Hertl being a star. Believe in a Goose. Believe in Timo Meier, the offensive nightmare. Believe in the Sharks.
The ending to this story is yet to be seen, but we will be there every step of the way. Every whistle, every goal, every save the story will grow bit by bit. There will be moments of agony and moments of joy. We will all be there, clad in teal, as the story takes shape. No matter if you’re in SAP Center, in a friend’s living room, or even in Canada, the words will be written about how this was the year. How it was only impossible until it wasn’t. How we watched the San Jose Sharks go the distance and become kings of the NHL. Above all else, what we all want, what the Sharks all want, is the storybook ending:
Our hero Joe Thornton, riding off into the sunset, a Stanley Cup Champion.