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Sharks facing reality: Blackhawks are a better team

Yesterday I wrote an article stating that the San Jose Sharks were missing a key ingredient that is needed as you find yourself deeper in the playoffs: heart. Some agreed, while some questioned why the Blackhawks weren’t getting the credit for just being a better team.

The fact is, at this point, the Hawks are a better team. Yet for a team as talented and as skilled as the Sharks are, what they’ll need to overcome the play of the Hawks and a 2-0 series deficit is something they haven’t exactly shown they possess.

Is it enough to just say “the Hawks are a better team, therefore the Sharks losing to them is acceptable”? I don’t think so, and this team and the fans cannot be content with just sitting idly by while the Sharks succumb night after night.

Tim Kawakami, beat writer for the San Jose Mercury News and someone who has followed this team all season long, says that this is the case. The Blackhawks are just a better team, hands down, and that’s something that everyone needs to deal with.

The Sharks aren’t totally out of this, of course. Turnarounds can happen swiftly in the playoffs, no doubt.

But the reality is that the Sharks’ best players (Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Boyle) aren’t as good at this moment as Chicago’s best players (Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith).

While the Sharks players are saying all the right things, for the most part, it’s Dan Boyle who really seems to get it. By all accounts he was the most fired up of any of the players on the team and had some very realistic comments for the media:

“What do you want me to say? What do you think we’re going to do, give up?” a fiery Dan Boyle said after the Sharks’ 4-2 loss at HP Pavilion on Tuesday. “The effort’s there, but it’s not good enough.”

The Sharks will need to dig down and find something inside that is able to propel them past a better team. We’ve seen it happen multiple times already in the playoffs, so you can’t tell me it’s not possible.

In the past, the Sharks were always the better team that “choked”. This is a different situation, but the team is still lacking that fundamental internal drive needed for playoffs success.

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