The final handshakes.
The hardest thing about about being an NHL fan is that the road to the Stanley Cup is so hard. And being a Sharks fan, it’s even harder. There is no history of the team having won it. Their past playoff success had been limited. The West Coast isn’t much of a hockey country.
Yet what the Sharks did this past season was something to be cherished. After a heartache of an exit two years ago, the team entered the season with a new coach, new goalie, new faces and not a high expectation. They didn’t look so great in December and it sure didn’t seem like they would make it far.
The team rallied and found their way into the playoffs playing some of the best hockey. The power play was amazing. The passing was crisp. Martin Jones played at an elite level. And finally, the team made it to the Stanley Cup Final. In 25 years, the first trip was so sweet.
But it was not meant to be. It wasn’t supposed to be easy. It was going to be a fight and in the end, the Penguins were better. It sucks because we may never know what the future holds and if the Sharks will ever sniff this glory in the near future. I believe that one day they will. But I don’t know when. I will cherish what they did this year. It was the best they ever did and I hope that maybe even next year, they’ll finally reach the top.
I haven’t been to a Sharks game in some time and the last time I attended a Sharks playoff game was back in 2007.
Getting to the game was a journey since I drove up to San Jose the day of Game 4. The city was buzzing with people all wearing Sharks gear and the place was excited for the game. As I got to the SAP Center they had different little booths for photos, prizes, music and even the stage was set for NBCSN where fans and cameramen were around.
Inside the arena was pretty nice. But there was a sense of uncertainty. After all, this is the first time the Sharks have been here.
But once we got to our seats, the hype was real strong as the introductions came and Metallica performed.
Chris Creamer has a great post about the new Florida Panthers’ look. I don’t have much to say but after checking his update and looking at what the Panthers have unveiled, here are some quick thoughts.
- Fine, I get it. You want to the honor the military. You’re copying the same idea as the Jaguars with your crest logo. But in place of that jumping Panther? What a shame. I know that jumping Panther is on the helmet now, but that logo is superior to this.
- I think it’s OK to copy the stripe across the chest that is similar to the Habs. In fact, that it looks good all things considered. But I just feel it’s unnecessary.
- The addition of gold and the removal of their dark yellow is a downgrade for me. I like the a lot more and it fits well with the Sunshine State.
- The sleeve patch I can do without. But it’s different than the traditional designs so I can roll with it. And having it different for captains will be interesting.
- I like the laces. Still, there are way too many teams with laces but I like this modernized version.
Overall it’s a decent look but I am not jumping and celebrating it. It still feels a little plain to me and so traditional like. I guess with a previous look of a jumping panther I was hoping something would be “in-your-face” with this new look. But I don’t feel it.
They aren’t losers anymore. The San Jose Sharks no longer have to bear the weight and burden of the struggles in years past. In their 25th year, they are finally going to the Stanley Cup Final.
You can take a look back at how this team had the President’s Trophy but didn’t win the championship. Or even the time where they were underachieving every time they were predicted to win it all. Or even the sour taste from two years ago when they blew a 3-0 series lead to the rival Los Angeles Kings.
And in a year when they weren’t even considered a favorite with a new head coach, they now have a great chance of winning the Stanley Cup.
Since 2011, the San Jose Sharks have worn their black jerseys for all their playoff home games. A change was in the works to go back to teal last season but they missed the playoffs. Now that the Sharks are back in the playoffs, it was confirmed by the team that teal is back. All teams must designate one home set and one away set for the playoffs.
This is a big deal for the Sharks as they are the only team in the league with teal as the primary color. Adding to the fact that the other two California teams wear black as their primary, some separation from that would be great.
The teal is a great color for the Sharks and they need to embrace that identity. It may not mean anything in terms of on-ice success, but they will at least look good.
I think the All-Star Game fan voting across all sports should be eliminated. It serves no great purpose and players who don’t deserve to go to the game are taking away votes that should be going to players who should have a spot on the roster.
But with that said, since fan voting still exists, I am glad that the outcome of the John Scott fiasco turned out the way it did.
Scott did everything right leading up to the weekend. He tried to not get involved in the voting craziness that happened but when it was obvious that he was going to the game, he embraced it. Unfortunately the NHL tried to stop all of this but the fan demand was too high.
This was the only way it could be. The NHL faced a disastrous PR nightmare with the John Scott thing. There had already been rumbling that the league asked him to decline the All-Star Game invitation despite the fans voting him in as captain. Then the trade to Montreal really made it seem like the NHL was going to let that trade make Scott ineligible.
Fortunately, the NHL did the right thing. I don’t know if they did it because they felt that it was the right thing to do or they did it because they wanted to avoid any backlash if they left Scott off the roster.
Either way, what we have is the NHL admitting that the game itself doesn’t matter. If the fan vote doesn’t have any value, then what’s the point of this game? It’s already a game that people don’t really watch and the NHL can’t afford to lose the one thing the fans care about.
The NHL did the right thing only because they had no other choice.