San Jose has talked about being a different group all year long, and they proved to the hockey world they weren’t wrong.
Ever since Peter DeBoer took over this San Jose Sharks team, he’s talked about how the 2015-16 version of the Sharks was different. He put everyone on notice after San Jose beat L.A. and Anaheim in their first two games.
At the time, many thought it was way too premature for such proclamations but his group responded. Even though it took quite awhile for this team to get going this season, when everything finally clicked, you could see the potential in team teal.
Then, San Jose would get a chance to redeem themselves, as fate would have it, as they were pitted against the Kings in round one.
While it was certainly a different Los Angeles squad, the way San Jose went about their business in dispatching the Kings in five games helped reinforce the message that these weren’t your Sharks of old.
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Even throughout that series, San Jose had to answer questions about their past.
Instead of looking back, this Sharks team continued to look forward. When facing a Game 7 against Nashville, they rose to the occasion and dominated the Predators.
Team teal continued their theme of not being satisfied as they took on the St. Louis Blues in these Western Conference finals.
Despite a tough loss in Game 1, the Sharks continued to rebound from adversity. They bounced back with back-to-back shutouts the next two games.
Following a poor performance in Game 4, San Jose put that behind them and continued to push forward.
Finding themselves down on two different occasions in a pivotal Game 5, these Sharks found a way to come back. It all starts at the top with Joe Pavelski who refused to let this group lose. Pavelski’s two goals help catapult San Jose one game away from playing for the Stanley Cup.
Rather than letting the opportunity go by the wayside, these Sharks seized the moment and took it to the Blues in Game 6. San Jose was relentless from the get go, showing a determination to close things out that has been lacking throughout the years.
While it got a little close for comfort in the waning minutes, team teal didn’t panic. They stuck together and the end result was a night of jubilation inside the Shark Tank that has been 25 years in the making.
What a ride it’s been for this Sharks team and they’ve finally rewarded both the fans and themselves for all their hard work.
There’s certainly more work to be done, but this San Jose group has shown a focus to not dwell on the past, but rather take advantage of the opportunity in the present.
It’s worked, and now the Sharks are in uncharted waters as they’re four wins away from hoisting the Stanley Cup.