Sharks Gameday: Independence Day
|43-19-10, 96 points||35-31-6, 76 points |
|4th in Western Conference ||12th in Western Conference |
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After tonight, the boys are coming home.
It's been a brutal road trip. The worst in recent memory. The threads of a season have begun to become unraveled, the fabric becoming looser with each unrelenting loss.
But there is still hope. There is still time for precise backstitch to bring this all together.
Pictured: The first sewing reference in NHL history
Todd Richards and the Minnesota Wild bring about no real hard feelings. It's a team San Jose has handled quite extensively over the years, going 19-9-2-4 since the state was given a franchise they deserved ever since Norm Green unfairly ripped the Minnesota North Stars from their hands. Owen Nolan is a notorious Sharks killer whenever he faces his former team, but besides that, there is nothing here which would indicate a playoff type atmosphere. The Wild will miss the postseason for the second straight year. The Sharks are a near lock.
And yet, there needs to be some manufactured bad blood under the Excel Center roof tonight. This needs to become a statement game for the team, one that screams they will not go quietly into the night. That they will not vanish without a fight. That they will live on, they will survive.
A game that will celebrate their Independence Day.
Prediction: Sharks win 4-3 in OT. Goals by Clowe, Setoguchi, Vlasic, and Marleau. Jumbo Joe Thornton has three assists and a two and a half minute scrap with Cal Clutterbuck.