NHL Playoffs 2011: 5 Bold Predictions for the Sharks' Opening Series

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NHL Playoffs 2011: 5 Bold Predictions for the Sharks' Opening Series
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The San Jose Sharks entered Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals against the Los Angeles Kings, and for the first time in a long while, nobody's giving them a chance. San Jose has been superb in the regular season for the better part of a decade now, but still no Stanley Cup.

Against the Los Angeles Kings team with an excellent defense and a large physical group of wingers, San Jose must prove that they have what it takes this year.

And prove it again they must, because despite the remarkable performance in the postseason last year, the naysayers are as prevalent as ever. The doubters and critics crone on about how woefully deficient the San Jose squad is and how they lack the intangibles to win it all.

The same team that rallied from bad break after bad break in the Colorado series and still rebounded. The same team that won Game 3 at the Joe to take a commanding 3-0 lead over the mighty Red Wings.

The team that couldn’t get a save when it counted most against the eventual champion Chicago Blackhawks.

Fact is though, last year’s run to the Western Finals showed the Sharks are for real, and this year, they look to take the next steps.

Here are five bold predictions for the opening round of the 2010-11 Western Conference Playoffs for the San Jose Sharks.

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