Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Sharks like Senators

No, I don't mean that the Sharks have a particular fondness for the Ottawa players, but rather... watching them play the Senators tonight both made me feel the teams were very similar and gave me reason for optimism that the Sharks can make a playoff run this year.

It wasn't long ago that the Sens were labeled as the good, but not great team with excellent players that could never put it together come playoff time. Granted they didn't win the Cup last season, but to get to the finals as they did was only a stone's throw away.

Anyhoo... even if the Sharks had wound up with a 2-1 defeat tonight, it wouldn't have been that maddening. The take-away from the game would have been that they outshot handily one of the best Eastern Conference teams and were very much in a position to win. Had the eventual result been a defeat, you could have said that they played solid and if not for a defensive miscue and questionable penalty call would have won 1-0. Now, since you can't expect your beloved Sharkies to never give up a goal, you could have added in the recent 6-4 fire and brimstone display against Le Canadiens to balance things out. All in all, you would have felt pretty good, and justified in that.

However, the pucks fell the right way, Cheechoo drove the net, Marleau took advantage of opportunity and... they win. Good victory, but with either victory or defeat, the parralels would remain the same betwixt the two teams. Offensive power up front (see: Thornton, Joe; Cheechoo, Jonathan & Marleau, Patrick as well as Alfredsson, Daniel; Spezza, Jason & Heatley, Dany) as well as solid bordering on spectacular D in Brian Campbell and Wade Redden respectively.

Up until last season, the pundits felt Ottawa was destined to be a team of unfulfilled potential... much as the Sharks can (rightly so to this point) be viewed. However, Ottawa got through to the dance that is the Stanley Cup Finals, so the logical conclusion after watching these very similar teams play is that San Jose can as well.

All this being said and then the icing on the cake... Sharks win, Sharks win, Holy cow, Sharks win.

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