The Sharks have two very important games against Nashville and Chicago remaining on their home stand. They can’t look ahead, but we can.
The Sharks playoff hopes will be decided on the road over the next couple of weeks. Starting Tuesday in Winnipeg the team embarks on a seven game trip with additional stops in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Detroit, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The good news is that three of those teams are not currently in a playoff position and among the group of four teams that are in a postseason spot the Sharks have already beaten Montreal, Winnipeg and Pittsburgh this season. So in theory, if they win against the non-playoff teams and take down the Canadiens and Penguins one more time they’ll be fine. Who wouldn’t be happy with six wins on a seven game trip? Ah, if it was only that easy.
One thing the Sharks haven’t been this season is predictable. Who would have guessed they’d lose six combined games to Buffalo, Columbus and Edmonton this year? Did you have them knocking off the Kings, Anaheim and Chicago in succession only to go 0 for February on home ice?
If the team is looking for inspiration to make a late season push to the playoffs they need only to look back in their own history. In 1994 the Sharks went on a late season seven game winning streak which culminated with their first ever playoff berth. They clinched it with a victory in LA. This season ends April 11th in LA. Starting next Tuesday, 10 of the Sharks final 13 games will be on the road, and that’s where the fate of this year’s team will be decided.
I’m Randy Hahn for SJsharks.com