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Sharks embrace underdog status

San Jose Sharks v St. Louis Blues

ST. LOUIS - NOVEMBER 4: Joe Pavelski #8 of the San Jose Sharks shoots the puck against Tyson Strachan #33 of the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center on November 4, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Blues beat the Sharks 2-1. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Dilip Vishwanat

The San Jose Sharks have been a fairly regular disappointment this season, yet that’s opened up a refreshing opportunity: to play the role of the underdog. Considering Todd McLellan’s comments to’s Kevin Kurz, it seems like they’re relishing the chance to play with house money.

“St. Louis is a hell of a team,” McLellan said. “They were competing right to the last day for the President’s Trophy. It hasn’t been very many series [we’ve been] the underdog, and we certainly will be that.” “We also understand the pressure they’re under. We’ve been there. We’ve been the President’s Trophy winner, and the expectation that’s put on you is very high.”

Well played there, Todd. Well played.

The good news is that the pressure is on the Blues, who didn’t exactly finish their season on a high note. The bad news is that St. Louis has been a brutal matchup for the Sharks in 2011-12. The Blues swept the season series, collecting two shutouts while outscoring San Jose 12-3 overall.

Then again, Ken Hitchcock could spin this series in an interesting way, too. For all the wins they racked up this season, they do carry an “unproven” label that could come in hand, too.