I think everyone but Sharks fans were surprised by Team Teal's victory last night. It's not just that the Sharks are facing the Wings, one of the best teams in hockey today, it's that they were facing them in a game 1 scenario, at home, after a decent rest. Anyone who follows the Sharks can tell you that that is not always a recipe for success. The Sharks dropped game 1 to the Avs last series, also at home, and long time supporters knew that was par for the course. A very disappointed water trap filled, sand trap riddled course, but par none the less.
Then tension pregame was palpable. I didn't sleep the night before and I know I wasn't the only one. Now, I could blame it on the large amount of work that I knew I'd have to do that day, and that would be a pretty reasonable excuse considering that was all I dreamt about, but odds are good the game was somewhere in the back of my mind too.
Go down in game 1 and oh, what the hockey pundits would say! It would reaffirm their beliefs that my team has no chance in this series and allow them to promote their previous written story lines and spout off used up cliche after used up cliche about the Sharks and the post season and the violent act of having one's breathing passage blocked by a foreign object.
To them I say: SUCK IT.
You cannot pre-write the story of the post season, you have to let it write itself. Those of us who've been watching this team all season know that while, yes, this match up is a challenging one, the Sharks and Wings are fairly evenly matched. Both teams have weakness, yes, but both also have enough strengths to overcome those.
This is going to be a hard fought, well played, at times nasty, at times full of more finesse than Don Juan, hard hitting, teeth gnashing, goal scoring, puck stopping type of series. You don't have to win game 1 to win a series, but it sets a good tone.
Game 2 is coming. Are you ready?