This was supposed to be the year for the San Jose Sharks. They were a battle tested, perennial playoff team that had a promising fusion of experience and skill. Though often criticized for falling short of Stanley Cup aspirations time and time again, the Sharks were poised to break all the mold of disappointment that they had created for themselves. As an aging team, San Jose was supposed to put all past failures behind them, recognizing that their window of opportunity was closing, and that it was finally time to grow into their own skin. Prognosticators across the board agreed, this dangerous San Jose team was a finals favorite. What happened next, however, will most likely go down in Sharks history as the team’s most disgraceful moment in time.
In the first round of the playoffs the Sharks were pitted against their most bitter rivals, the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings had defeated the Sharks in a gritty seven game playoff war last season, and the animosity between both clubs was thick. This season was different, however. The Sharks were bombarding L.A.’s stud goalie, Jonathan Quick, taking an early three game lead in the series. The rest of the journey to the second round should have been a cakewalk.
But even toward the end of game three, a turning of the tide could be sensed by many. The Sharks had barely scrapped by with a one-point victory due to what was widely referred to as a “lucky shot”. The King’s backbone players, Quick, defenseman Drew Doughty, and center Anze Kopitar, began to come alive, taking the next three games in the series.