A few weeks ago when the New Jersey Devils were knocked out of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, I had a dilemma—who the heck was I supposed to root for now?
The answer was not as difficult as I expected, as there is one team left out there that deserves Lord Stanley’s Cup for all the hard work that they’ve put up over the years, especially in this year’s playoffs.
That team is the San Jose Sharks.
Well the Western Conference final series is set to take off sometime soon. The official schedule will not be released until the conclusion of the Eastern Conference's second round games.
The Sharks, coming off of a 4-1 defeat over the highly favored Detroit Red Wings, will be facing the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks flew over the Vancouver Canucks in Game Six of their series last night, advancing them to the conference finals.
Most will be leaning towards the Blackhawks, but I must say that the Sharks will be looking to send Chicago into troubled waters.
The Sharks have made it to the playoffs each year, but always lose during the quarter and semifinals. This year is a different story. These Sharks came prepared for battle and are hungry and ready to attack.
San Jose has had time to rest and focus on their next series since Saturday and they are very anxious to play.
Surprising success has come into play for the Sharks after sending home the Colorado Avalanche in Round One in a 4-2 series victory where the Sharks originally found themselves down in the series but came back to win the last three games. Let’s not forget that they sent the Red Wings back to Detroit with only one win in the second round, which was outstanding to say the least.
The time that the Sharks have had to rest gives them an advantage over the Blackhawks who have had some tough games to overcome in the last week. But as usual, Chicago showed the discipline needed to win games. They were in this same boat last year when they beat the Canucks to get to this same position in the finals. The Blackhawks have a strong team, but the Sharks have shown the determination to do whatever they need to tip over the Chicago boat and advance to the Final Round—the Battle for the Cup.
“They are a very good team, you don’t get to the final four without having a very talented group of players,” said Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan. “They are very well coached and are well prepared.”
I believe that San Jose has a very difficult opponent to face in this upcoming series, but at the same time I feel that the Sharks have the motivation and confidence to win against this team.
Not to say that the Blackhawks won’t put up a great fight or don’t want the championship, but the Sharks want it more.
Both teams have outstanding offensive lines and goaltending, so who will be the Western Conference Champs this year?
My prediction: Sharks in six.
What do all of you think?