The Sharks have played in 7 Game Sevens. The Sharks are 5-2 all time.
Last night I was thinking about the three Game Sevens I was involved in when I was part of the coaching staff in the team's early days. Well I thought about three but focused on the two we won.
Of course in the very first Game 7 it was the Great Jamie Baker, catching Chris Osgood out of position and scoring what my Partner (the equally as) Great Randy Hahn calls the "Biggest Goal in Sharks History."
What people may forget earlier that month, Jamie Baker scored two huge goals against the LA Kings clinching the Sharks very first playoff birth.
In that series we had so many heroes. Arturs Irbe was our rock. He was unflappable that playoff. The Wings kept running him and hacking at him and all he did was smile and stop the puck. The Wings tried to get under his skin but Artur's reaction seemed to bother the top seeded Wings more.
At one point Detroit's Dino Ciccarelli related a story that he ran into Irbe on purpose and all "Artie" did was say,"Hi Dino!"
Causing the Detroit forward to lament to the media that " you can't get mad at them!"
A funny line for sure but looking back it showed a team that was focused and mentally tough.
The next year it was "The Wizard " Ray Whitney in double overtime vs the Calgary Flames. He tipped a Sergei Makarov shot passed Trevor Kidd sending the Sharks to the second round for the second straight year.
In both of those game sevens there were other heroes as well.
Igor Larionov and Sergei Makarov the fantastic Russian twosome were outstanding in those games. They had played in a ton of high pressure situations before and had the knack to rise to the occasion.
As much as Arturs Irbe was the little goalie who could and did the year before. In the Calgary series he was replaced by Wade Flaherty who back stopped the Sharks to wins in Game 6 and 7.
One if the enigmatic players of that time was Craig Janney. He was a player who could put up points but in the series against the Flames he didn't do much until Game 6 when we were facing elimination.
Craig scored two big goals and when he was forced to (and I do mean forced) to talk to the media he was "Janneyesque" in his response to their questions.
"Look, let's just say I sucked all series until tonight."
He didn't suck in Game 7 either adding a goal and 2 helpers.
One of my favourite players and people in the early days was Pat Falloon. In all the hoopla of Ray Whitney's double OT winner. Patty had a two goal, 3 point night.
A star performance in a Game Seven.
Oh yeah, Jamie Baker, a two assist night.
We all know that it takes more than one or two heroes to lead a team to a big playoff win. It takes absolutely every man on the roster committed to win battles and races, block shots take and make hits. It takes every player willing to do all it takes to win a game.
When I look at the Sharks I can invision
a Logan Couture fist pump, "The Big Pavelski" becoming even bigger.
I can see Patrick Marleau or Joe Thornton giving us one more story adding to their Sharks greatness.
I see the "Gamer" Dan Boyle making a key play to set up the winner or the "Wild One"
Brent Burns rifling a shot top shelf off of one knee.
Or maybe it will be an unusual suspect. 'The vet' and Cup Champ Scott Gomez or one of the 'Kids'? A 'Brentwood Bay Blast' from Irwin or Tommy Wingels wristing one home.
Yes it takes everyone to win but there will be that one moment when someone has that opportunity to be a Game Seven Hero and forever become a Sharks Legend.