Injuries: A Bay Area playoff story

The Golden State Warriors and San Jose Sharks endured through injuries to key players throughout their playoff runs this year. One team overcame them while another just couldn’t win because of it.

It was a tough time for me as a fan of both teams as I have this unrealistic optimism that my teams can overcome anything.

For the Warriors, it’s a little bit easier to believe in the team’s ability despite injuries. With Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins injured, the Warriors didn’t miss a beat and advanced to their fifth straight NBA Finals appearance. Heck, Andre Iguodala missed the last game with an injury too. Cousins was out for most of the playoffs and Durant was out for essential five and a half games. Yet the Warriors didn’t miss a beat. They fell behind in some of the games but at no point did I believe they would lose.

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That Sharks comeback gave me the good feels again


Last night was amazing! I ran through a roller coaster of emotions with the San Jose Sharks and Golden Knights in their epic Game 7 showdown.

If you haven’t seen it yet, watch the highlight video.

Oh man, what a crazy game! The comeback by the Sharks was impossible and it couldn’t have happened had it not been for that major penalty. It was insane to think that in a 10-minute span I was preparing myself to shave and then at the end of it, the Sharks had the lead and I was losing my mind. How could this have happened?

The amazing comeback of four goals in five minutes started with that. Should it have been a five-minute major penalty? Probably not. After all, the officials didn’t signal a penalty until they saw how badly Joe Pavelski was hurt. So I will give the bitter Knights that. Maybe it shouldn’t have five minutes. But that’s not the reason why the Sharks won. It was because the Knights gave up four goals in that ensuring power play. That penalty kill was atrocious. A good team doesn’t give up four goals in a four-minute span of that penalty. Also, a good team doesn’t blow a 3-0 lead halfway through the third period (and a 3-1 lead in the series).

But this isn’t about the Golden Knights and their inability to hold a lead. This is about the most insane sequence I’ve ever seen in hockey.

You can feel the crazy excitement build in the arena. After the first goal, there was still hope. And because the power play would still continue after the first goal, the realization that it could happen again was possible. And just like that, another one. Then another one. Then another one! And just like that, the lead.

During this game I started to think about the crazy AFC Wild Card game from January 1993 between the Oilers and Bills. The Oilers took a big lead and the Bill shad a furious comeback to take the lead only for the opposition to tie it to force overtime. I kept thinking about the parallels to this game and I was confident (yet still nervous) that the comeback would be complete. It would, but not without me screaming and probably scaring my neighbors in the process.
This isn’t the first time the Sharks have given me so much joy in the playoffs. But every time it has ended in sadness. The Sharks have yet to win the Stanley Cup and I am still hoping that maybe this is the year. And with a game like this, how could I not believe again? How can what seemed impossible be possible now?

I don’t know. But this is the life of living in Sharks Territory. We just can’t get enough.

San Jose Sharks gave us a season that I will never forget

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.

My experience attending Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final

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.

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San Jose Sharks are bringing back teal for the playoffs

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.

The Sharks’ disappointing early exit (again) was the best thing for them

Year after year, the Sharks don’t live up to expectations. They have the talent to go far, but they fall short. The years they make it very far, they still don’t win. And even when they hold a 3-0 series lead, they fall.

The disappointment that follows this team is an annual deal and this last loss was the worst one of them all. Because of the team’s inability to win the Cup, it’s time for a change.

You can easily call for Todd McLellan to be fired. The future of Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau with the team could be gone as well. It’s time to shake the roster up and the coaching staff.

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The Ducks are putting their playoff trust in a rookie goalie

The Ducks are putting their playoff trust in a rookie goalie

The decision to start Andersen makes sense and the Ducks are investing in their future tonight. They are the top seed and they know they have a little room for this experiment. Ultimately, this first game will decide how they will approach the rest of the series.

For The Win

Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports

The Anaheim Ducks’ decision to start Frederik Andersen tonight makes sense.

He has played better than Jonas Hiller this season and has stolen games in which he has played.

Hiller, meanwhile, has been so-so after the Olympics, going 4-4-3, and had save percentages of .889, .765 and .826 in his last three games. He has not played since April 8.

He also was upset by the Detroit Red Wings last season, giving up seven goals over his last two games as the Ducks blew a 3-2 lead.

Hiller, 32, will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and although Andersen is a rookie, it makes sense to see how he handles the playoff pressure. If he falters tonight, you could always throw Hiller back in for Game 2. If he does well and starts a run, then you know whether to make Hiller an offer.

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