The top-seeded San Jose Sharks are off to their second Western Conference Finals, their first since 2003-2004 and reading the reaction from bloggers and fans alike today is one that fascinates me. A lot of that is probably due to the fact that I’m not directly embroiled with the Sharks and don’t understand the perspective of what’s going on but the one thing that makes me tilt my head and go, “Huh...” is the sense of relief.
For instance, take this reaction from Mr. Plank at Fear The Fin.
The biggest series in franchise history was handled in a mere five games. It is a time of celebration and jubilation, of freedom from the demons that have plagued our souls for five years. It was a monumental event that shook the city of San Jose tonight, one that will go down in the history books as a moment where the shackles of shame were broken in one quick flick of Patrick Marleau’s wrist.
Tonight is exactly where we wanted to be.
Tomorrow is when it sets in that we’re only halfway home.
While Plank is right that the team is only halfway home, my concern for the Sharks against either Chicago or Vancouver is complacency. The bulk of this Sharks team hasn’t gotten past the second round of the playoffs before and you know that that fact hung over them like the Sword of Damocles. So where does this team go after getting over that molehill before climbing the mountain it takes to reach the Stanley Cup? If you asked Adrian Dater at Versus, he’d be sarcastically congratulating Joe Thornton.
No, you still haven’t won the big dawg prize yet, that big silver punchbowl with all those names on it. Two more winning series to go before you get that.
But no longer are you the guy everybody badmouths at this time of the year. You’re still playing, moving on to another opponent, the playoff beard getting a little fuller, a little redder with every passing day.