Originally written on Couch Tarts  |  Last updated 11/9/14
It's puzzling to me, all this surprise and woe over the Sharks current place in the standings.(Now 8th, thanks to last night's OT win over Detroit) Puzzling because, as I see it, this is exactly what the media seemed to think the Sharks were capable of for years. Underachievers, choke artists, always playing below their potential, a team that has no earthly reason to succeed does, and then fails, as everyone assumed they would.

More surprising is that this reaction comes after several seasons of saying "the Sharks need to face more adversity." Where “adversity” apparently meant not being involved in a playoff race that will go down to the wire. A team that faces adversity in the sense that it plays hard teams but always wins and then easily coasts into the finals, Cup guaranteed. That's not adversity, that's a fantasy land and it doesn't exist. Not here, not now. And probably not ever.

Let's entertain the idea, for just a moment,  that this is a good thing for the team, and for us as fans. The Sharks are the only other team besides the Wings to be in the playoffs every year since the 2005-06 season. If, like me, you started watching the team that season, it would seem like the playoffs are all but assured. They aren't though. They never were. This is a good reminder of that. For a lot of other teams, other fan bases, this race is a good thing. Why not let it be the same for the Sharks? No gliding into the playoffs unchallenged, this time they really have to fight.

Sure, they had to fight last year too, but by the end of the regular season, they'd wound down. They started too early and finished too soon. This year they're in the thick of things right up until the very end. These last 3 weeks of divisional games will be huge in decided how the Pacific shakes out. Let's embrace this for what it is and what it could be, a chance to go all the way. Sure, the Sharks have to make it first, but they have to do it  without backing in, without skating in, without coasting. This is a good thing for this team if they're able to take advantage of it and use it the right way. Now it's up to the team to decide what to do.
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