THE SANTA CLARA
October 16, 2014
The San Jose Sharks look to be a forceful contender again this season. After placing second in the Pacific Division last year, they qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, a feat they have accomplished 10 years in a row.
They faced the Los Angeles Kings in the first round, a team they lost to 2-3 in the regular season. They began the series in dramatic fashion, winning the first two games with three and five goal differentials.
Game 3 was a little different.
The Sharks played well, but the Kings ultimately outplayed them toward the end and brought the game into overtime 3-3.
However, a deflection off the stick of Kings’ defender Slava Voynov from a well-timed shot by Sharks’ left wing Patrick Marleau, sailed past the Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick and put San Jose ahead 4-3 and winning Game 3.
Things started to fall apart after that. In Games 4, 5 and 6, the Sharks did not play at their usual caliber. They fell to the Kings 6-3, 3-0 and 4-1, tying the series at three games apiece. Game 7 was played in San Jose at the SAP Center, giving the Sharks the home ice advantage in a win-or-go-home game.
Unfortunately, the Sharks were unable to pull off a victory. The Kings thrashed the Sharks 5-1 and knocked them out of contention for their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
It was an embarrassing end to the series for the Sharks, but an epic one for the Kings. They went on to defeat the Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks and the New York Rangers to win the Stanley Cup.
It was the hockey version of the 2004 American League Championship series between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, where the Red Sox came back from a 3-0 game deficit to beat their rivals and went on to win their first World Series title in 86 years.
Despite the unfortunate end to their season, the Sharks look sharp and I think they’re ready to compete for their first Stanley Cup again this year.
Though the 2014-2015 regular season has just begun, the Sharks are 3-0 and opened their season with an easy 4-0 defeat over the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Kings, reclaiming their pride and firing up their fan base in the process.
This win was important for a myriad of reasons. In the same game that Los Angeles would hang their Stanley Cup banners in their home rink, the Sharks had to overcome a very emotional hurdle.
This season’s team has a much stronger mental fortitude and, hopefully, will not falter in the postseason once again this year.
The rest of the season remains unknown, but one thing is for sure: The Sharks are back with a vengeance.
Claire McLoughlin is a sophomore English major.