Sharks ready to shake the monkey off their backs?

05May10

Finally.

Season after season, the San Jose Sharks have romped through the NHL’s regular season on their way to a Pacific Division title. And just as predictably as they’ve coasted through the regular season, they’ve coasted through the playoffs too — with an entirely different result.

The Sharks, long chastised for playing too softly in the playoffs, have paid for their perceived laziness ever year with an early playoff exit. Star forwards Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau have been notoriously unproductive at playoff time.

But the Sharks may have finally shaken this lethargy.

Down 3-1 to Detroit in last night’s Game 3 of their Western Conference semi-final, the Sharks mounted a furious comeback in the final 13 minutes of the third period to snatch a 4-3 overtime victory from the stunned Wings. This is the Sharks we’re talking about here — notorious underachievers.

The disappointments of the past might finally be in the rearview mirror for Thornton, Marleau and Company. These types of comeback victories are the stuff of playoff legend. Most importantly, though, the Sharks now hold a 3-0 series stranglehold on the two-time defending Western Conference Champion Red Wings.

The kings look ready to be dethroned, and the team that has long been considered the Western Conference’s new powerhouse in the making is on the verge of finally shaking the monkey from its collective back.

Provided the Sharks complete the series victory — preferably within the next three games so as to avoid any potential Game Seven catastrophes — their time may finally have arrived.

The Canucks and Blackhawks should be plenty nervous right now.

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