Gather 'round, friends. Let's laugh at the San Jose Sharks.
Not a petty, mean-spirited laugh. This site isn't about that. I mean, we have an entire section set aside for congratulatory words to teams we face in the playoffs, whether we eliminated them or they eliminated us. No, friends, laugh at them because it's funny! Laugh because to do otherwise would disrespect what can only be described as the most intricately designed mise en scene in the history of sports comedy. Imagine if Akira Kurosawa directed a movie about cricket written by Monty Python. THAT is what you are refusing to laugh at if you do not laugh at the Sharks right now, you pretentious bastard, you.
For those not keeping count, that's now five straight seasons of 99+ points with only 10 wins in the second round and not a single win in the third. That's five Pacific Division titles, and not a single trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. Since the NHL realigned to regional divisions, NO team other than the Sharks has managed to win FIVE division titles without A SINGLE trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. They are Gilligan to the NHL's Island, Urkel to the NHL's Winslow House, the Nameless Ensign to the NHL's Star Trek away team. They are . . . hilarious.
And sadly, this might be their last performance, the series finale for this Benny Hill episode of a hockey team. The team has expiring contracts galore, but they owe a hefty raise to Joe Pavelski and maybe Devin Setoguchi. Those most likely to leave are longtime Sharks Patrick Marleau and Evgeny Nabokov. Couture can maybe help fill the production gap left by Marleau, and the NHL is full of goalies looking for a job interview, even if the Sharks don't choose to raid their overstocked crease cupboard. So, maybe they'll be okay, and maybe people will look back at Marleau's 26 postseason goals (and 7 gamewinners!) since the Lockout and say, "I knew it was his fault. Goddamn puck piggy." And if instead, they downright stink, then people will attribute it to the major change in net and the unceremonious closing of their 'Cup window.'
Yes, friends, we may be saying goodbye to the days when the NHL's talking heads gather around the Algonquin in September and say, "this is the Sharks' year," only to eviscerate them as "the same old Sharks," seven months later. So I laugh, but I also cry, as though I were watching Richard Pryor's last stand-up special or the final episode of Cheers. Goodbye Seinfeld Sharks.
/blows pitch pipe
How lovely it was...
Thanks for the memories: Nabby's marshmallow pads, and goals you should have had, and awful luck and bouncing pucks and the tears of the unfathomably sad.
Thanks youuu so much....
Thanks for the memories: Semifinal fails, Presidents' derailed, your future sold for trade bait gold and still no holy grail
How lovely it was...
Shhh, Arthur. I was spooning with Lord Stanley.
See Sharks fans, I can do that because my team WON the cup. We finished. Finishing is what is required of champions. Almost isn't good enough.
So you can shove your Presidents' trophy where the sun don't shine, and let me get back to my nap with the only trophy that counts.
I was having the strangest dream about sweeping in Chicago...