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.
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.