You may have heard the sound, wherever you reside, live or happened to be late Monday night.
The painful, collective groans from Sharks fans who saw flashes of past postseason failures, of past wrongs, of past games and past series losses.
However, similar or ill fated our losses or goals against have been this series, these are not your "old" Sharks.
The 2010 Sharks are a vastly different group from make-up to character.
They have played near the apex of their abilities and have hurdled every obstacle possible.
Can you say this would have happened in any other year before this one?
The determination and grit they have displayed throughout this series thus far, and dominating play from end to end on a consistent basis is certainly a new revelation for fans and critics alike.
I picked the Sharks to win in five, and it was not a prognostication stemming from disrespect for the Avalanche by any stretch.
Craig Anderson has been superb in net thus far, and the Avs youth, speed and hunger, while balanced with key veteran leadership, is definitely the foundation for this team moving forward.
And while Anderson has played out of his mind (193 shots to Colorado's 76), history will show that the Sharks have a pattern of making goalies look great in the playoffs, more on that later.
To say all the obvious cliches, a must-win, a pivotal game four, a do-or-die game, and so on is a waste of time and breath. Cliches will not drive home the point to the Sharkies, but their new found drive and determination will.
And for those fans who are quick to take a bite from the sky is falling sandwich, I would fondly suggest these five keys to a Sharks victory tonight.
First and foremost, we cannot take a step back in our play or our effort.
Game Four will have the Avs coming out flying and playing strong. We must withstand the initial onslaught as we did in Game Three, and then take the game to the Avs when things start to settle in.
All the other intangibles will mean nothing to us if we do not establish the pace of the game and maintain our level of play throughout.
Many of the past playoff failures have seen us rebound from bad breaks, from bad games, from poor efforts and through playoff adversity.
These players are professionals, of course. However, the difference in this year and teams past, is that we have come back and put forth a new effort, a new attitude and a new level of play and sustained it for once!
How many times have we seen them (San Jose) bounce back and win the next game in the series. But then just as casually as a Sunday stroll through the park, lapse back into the same problems, lackluster play and poor effort that got us into trouble?
You can say that this franchise has playoff baggage, that management has put the onus on ticket sales and generating profit over playoff success. The Sharks, however, isn't a team you can't say has any of that baggage through three games so far.
There are 12 new players on this team that weren't on the roster when we were so unceremoniously bounced from the Anaheim series last season.
Again, not the same old Sharks
When the puck drops at around 7 p.m. tonight, there will be no single player more happy to start playing than our own Dan Boyle.
After his errant pass found a way past Nabby in Game Three, I couldn't feel more bad for a player than I did for Boyle.
As he skated off the ice at the Pepsi Center, I couldn't help but notice the slump in his shoulders and the look of shock on his face.
"I wish I could say I've turned the page," Boyle said. "But I probably won't until we play the next game."
And he will turn the page, just as soon as the puck drops in Game Four.
Dan Boyle is one of the toughest Sharks on the roster, both mentally and physically. We will need his wits, his puck handling and his offensive contributions in tonight's game.
When asked about his feelings in regards to this series he had simply this:
"We're not done"
That's what I'm talking about!
I have to admit, I wasn't fond of the Heatley trade a year ago.
His trade demands, the unwillingness to play in certain cities, and overall dissatisfaction were huge red flags to me.
Add in a contract that pays him an average of $7.5 million over the next five seasons and that he's asked his way out of the only two places he's played, and that was a tough cookie for me to eat.
Heatley has a chance now. A chance to right the wrongs and do what he was brought here to do.
Make no bones about it, this is EXACTLY the situation Doug Wilson envisioned Heatley making a difference in.
Do you really think we traded away Cheech and Michalek for Heatley because we couldn't get the job done in the regular-season? To sell more jerseys? Because its neat-o to our top line?
Heatley was brought here to provide the scoring punch we so sorely lacked in past postseasons. He's our third leading scorer during the regular season with 82 points, but has one assist and a minus-2 rating through two playoff games.
Time to turn it around Dany.
This guy is a superb scorer, having topped the 50 goal mark twice and he can bury the puck in the net if you blink twice.
This is his moment, this is his chance to make his mark in this series and on this team. And while the top line hasn't been horrible, we need more and we need it quickly.
Heatley must start producing and he knows it.
What else can I say about Nabby that I haven't said already?
He must rise to the occasion and be sharper than he has this series if we are to make it to the next round. He must play better, he must be on his game, "yadda yadda yadda".
Time will tell if he puts forth a better effort than he has so far.
Game One was a very solid performance, Game Two was akin to falling down the stairs, and Game Three's only strong point was that he was able to stop from falling asleep with the lack of activity in his end.
Game Four for Nabby is going to be the true litmus test of what kind of goalie he really is.
If he wants to be mentioned in the same breath as the Brodeurs, Luongos, and Ryan Miller's of the world, he has to do what he does in the postseason, not just the regular.
Words really don't do much more justice to this situation.
Sharks fans know what's up, Nabby knows what's up, and the coaching staff knows. So let's see what kind of performance he has tonight.
People have been quick to point out that the Sharks are shooting monsters, and have dictated play in the Avs end.
And while you won't hear me complaining about their shot totals, you will hear me talk about their shot selection or rather, the timing of their shots.
Too often in series past, most notably the Anaheim series the year before that was also the Dallas series, it seemed like we were taking shots just to take them.
I still have visions of Mike Grier shooting a wrist shot just as soon as he gets across the blue line. Yes, this is the playoffs. Yes, fluky goals can happen. Yes, good things can happen when the puck goes to the net.
But this is the NHL, and when goalies can see the puck, they usually stop them.
Anderson has been no exception, superb thus far in his rebound control, and limiting the Sharks second and third chances at the puck once he has it corralled.
This guy is used to seeing a ton of shots, leading the NHL in shots faced and saves this season.
This is exactly what brings me to the last and final key to the game.
The Sharks must do everything they can in their power to disrupt Anderson and his play. We need to attack the net and crowd Anderson much as we did in Game Two.
If we sit back and allow him to see the shooter, and we aren't doing everything we can to get under his skin, it won't matter if we shoot 51 or 501, chances are he'll stop them all.
These are my five keys to the game, here's to a great Game Four tonight.