The San Jose Sharks were absolutely capable of beating the Chicago Blackhawks in one game. As the preview I did for Examiner.com shows, they were a threat to end their Western Conference rival's streak of earning at least a point at 16 to start a season.
What they cannot do as currently constructed is beat Chicago in a seven-game series.
The reason sports leagues originally started doing series was to minimize the risk that good fortune decides a champion. Perhaps no team sport has the outcome of its games more tied to chance than hockey.
In the Olympics, a team with a good goalie can take advantage of a lucky bounce that gives them a goal and run out the clock. That can end the chances of even the best team in the world earning any medal.
In the NHL, that one loss does not decide a series even if the bounces do not even out. The team playing better will win almost every time.
That is why should the teams meet in the playoffs, there are five major reasons Chicago will prove themselves better.
Note: The introduction slide was updated 2/23/13 to account for the last game between the teams. All further slides were left with data current before the start of NHL games 2/22/13.