After years of the San Jose Sharks entering the Stanley Cup Playoffs as a favorite, the Sharks now face the test of being the underdog in a series little expect them to win.
A season with so many ups-and-downs and twists-and-turns left San Jose in a struggle down the stretch of the season just to make the playoffs. Jobs may or may not have been threatened, players' names may or may not have been thrown in the trade mill and the entire franchise may or may not be headed for reconstruction.
One thing is for sure—the Sharks are in the playoffs with little to lose and everything to gain. A playoff position they have not found themselves in for a long time.
How will that change their mindset?
It may not at all, but the scenario contains less pressure and more confidence heading into their first-round series.
The problem: They are matched up against a St. Louis Blues team that has absolute ownership over San Jose this season.