Commentary: Sharks clinch first playoff sweep in franchise history

by May 8, 2013 9:13 pm Tags: , , ,

After an intense back-and-forth game, the Sharks broke the tie with a power play goal in over time to set a franchise first when they swept the Vancouver Canucks to take the series.

The win last night not only gave the Sharks a 7-0 record against Vancouver for the season, but launched them into the second round of the playoffs.

The Sharks came out of the gate skating like they wanted to win, with Brent Burns deflecting a shot and scoring the first goal just under three minutes into the first period, but Vancouver answered minutes later.

This would set the tone for the rest of the game as both teams battled for every inch of the ice.

A key to the Sharks victory was the three power play goals the team scored that night.

Joe Pavelski scored the sharks second goal on a power play and they jumped out to an early 2-1 lead after the first period.

Constantly putting themselves in a sink or swim situation, the Sharks have had to claw their way back from a deficit in every game of the series, and last night was no exception.

While the Sharks outscored the Canucks in the first two periods, they fell behind halfway through the third.

Vancouver scored two goals within two minutes of each other, nine minutes into the third period and again 11 minutes in.

The Sharks ended their scoring drought on a clutch power play goal by Joe Pavelksi with only four minutes to play, his second of the night, to tie the game at 3-3.

The period ended in a defensive struggle and the game entered overtime.

It took 13 minutes, but the Sharks capitalized on a power play opportunity for the third time of the night, when Patrick Marleau scored off a rebound shot to end the game and advance the Sharks into the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Sixth seed San Jose will face either fifth seed Los Angeles or fourth seed St. Louis, who are competing to move on to the next round.

Every year during play off season the Sharks seem to lack the motivation and drive to really give them the edge they need.

The Sharks have been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs four years in a row leading up to this point, and now look to break the curse and make it all the way to play for the Cup.

Though the Sharks play well in the regular season and during the playoffs, they have yet to make it to the Stanley Cup finals.

A reputation for lackluster play and failure to come through in the clutch has haunted the Sharks for season after season.

The NHL lockout, which started in September of last year, cut the number of games this season from 82 to 48, leaving most teams with plenty of practice time.

Did the Sharks utilize the first half of the lockout season to practice and prepare for the short but intense season they would be facing?

The Sharks started off strong winning seven straight before succumbing to their reputation, finishing the season with 25 wins and 16 losses.

Many fans thought the Sharks were not going to make it to the playoffs this year after seeing the rut they were in leading up to the playoffs.

Will the Sharks step up this year and battle their way to the finals?

No one knows, but one thing is certain– with the shortened season there is sure to be blood in the water.  Let’s just hope it is not teal and black.

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