Hockey fans are in for a rare treat in the West starting tonight. San Jose Sharks will be playing L.A. Kings in San Jose at HP Pavilion in postseason play for the very first time. All eyes are on California ice this season as the third all-California postseason in NHL history skates away. As a matter of fact, in another division, Anaheim appears in their own playoff series. So, for the first time all three of the California hockey teams qualified for postseason games. I’m tempted to call it a California hat trick!
An interesting factoid is that California has one more team in the playoffs than Canada! That’s a real coup!
Anyway, the joy I feel about my Sharks making the playoffs is soothing salve for the ache I feel about my other favorite team. That, of course, is the San Francisco Giants baseball club. Their season has started with a disappointing number of defeats. So, again, I’m thrilled about the Sharks.
The last time San Jose appeared in an all-California series was two years ago, when the Anaheim Ducks bumped the #1 Sharks 4 to 2 in the first round of the series. At least San Jose did win the President’s Trophy in 2009 with a whopping 117 points.
I’m anxious to find out how Kyle Wellwood and Ben Eager do in this campaign. Eager joins the Sharks after a stint with last year’s champion Chicago Blackhawks. Wellwood was claimed off of re-entry waivers after playing with Vancouver who fell to Chicago during their second round playoffs in 2010. I’m sure both Eager and Wellwood are pleased to see playoff action.
So, I’m ready for game one tonight in San Jose. The puck drops at 7:00PM Pacific Time (9:00PM Central Time, 00:00 UTC). I wish I could be at HP Pavilion in person for this!
The Blue Jay of Happiness thinks the Sharks’ skaters will get the series with four wins in the first round.