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The Black Cat of the Tank

by Dan Marrazza / San Jose Sharks

As the pitter-patter of cute little footsteps skittered across the ice, she slid into our hearts.

The Black Cat of The Tank, rising from the depths to seemingly jinx the Predators, and bless the Sharks, made her national TV debut before San Jose’s 5-2 Game 1 victory that gave the Sharks the series lead for meow.

While the sight of the frightened feline slipping its way in front of the Predators bench had many concerned for its safety, there’s no need to worry right meow. The team’s furry friend was successfully located in SAP Center, and the Sharks organization is currently working with a local animal shelter, where the little one will undergo a full health examination before being placed in a better, safer home.

Although if black cats have the effect of broken mirrors, urban folklore suggests that Josefine – Joe Paw-velski, as she’s often been referred to around SAP Center – would meow have already imposed her will on this team’s fortunes for the next seven years – definitely long enough to bless the rest of this playoff run. After their encounter with Little Little Jo, the Predators had none of the bounces or matters of chance tilt in their favor as the Sharks took control of the game.

“I thought our first two periods were pretty good,” Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm lamented after the game. “We just shot ourselves in the foot, a little bit, in the third.”

Did Josefine crossing in front of the Predators’ bench have anything to do with this? Is Nashville now jinxed? Was there a supernatural force, other than Joel Ward in important playoffs games, that had something to do with the Sharks coming out and crush the Predators in the third period?

If we’re being serious, probably not.

If we’re examining the role black cats have played throughout history, just maybe.

In the most famous black cat incident in sports history, a black cat wandered in front of the Chicago Cubs dugout in September 1969 at New York’s Shea Stadium. The Cubs, baseball’s best team throughout the summer, subsequently went on to lose eight straight games; the Mets, a team that had never won a World Series, immediately caught fire and roared their way to their first championship.

Could the Sharks, in a similar championship drought as the “Miracle” Mets were in until a black cat reversed their misfortune, similarly meow benefit from a black cat’s blessing in the midst of a playoff run?

Anything’s possible.

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