I'm hoping everyone does not mind but I'm going to toss the usual format out the window for this Breaking it Down post because frankly if there is one team we should probably know almost as good as our own it's the LA Kings. Here is what you do need to know going into this game, the Sharks are in the final wild card playoff seed with 68 points in 60 games played, the LA Kings are in outside the playoff seeds with 66 points in 57 games. A Kings regulation win would leapfrog them back in front of The Sharks in the standings based on the first tie breaker (fewer numbers of games played) . A Sharks win or overtime loss would leave them the Sharks ahead of the Kings in the standings. Our Sharks have won their last game and have gone a very mediocre 3-5-3 in their last 10 and the Kings are on an impressive 6 game winning streak going 7-3-0 in their last 10 to say this is the tale of 2 teams going in opposite directions would be an understatement.
Before I really get into things I want to say that this is something that I wish I could have been able to attend it's awesome that the NHL put a second outdoor game in California as when these things first started I thought it was going to be a Chicago, Pittsburgh and Washington circle jerk that you would be lucky to get invited too. Nothing I say going forward is trying to diminish how cool the spectacle will be or how awesome it probably is for those in attendance. So now that I have you all wondering how Ian the Grinch is going to steal the stadium series game, I guess I'll get down to business. The one thing we all need to remember is that when you take the venue and extra coverage and all the other layers off this game it is only really one thing, a very important 2 points in a very tight playoff race, and on that level it is no less important than if it were to be played at SAP Center or Staples Center. There are going to be a lot of people in the media and even on our little Facebook group that are going to try and build all kinds of false narratives around this game and I'm going to try and knock them down before they start in my usual Grinch fashion bellow.
1) A Sharks win gives us redemption for last year's playoffs embarrassment.
False: It's a glorified regular season game, while it's always nice to beat the Kings, true redemption can only be found in the playoffs.
2) If the Sharks lose this game it's because they can't win the big game.
False: It's a regular season game and in reality no more important on any level besides maybe some bragging rights its 2 points in a tight playoff race, for perspective the Kings got shutout in the Stadium Series game and they were so broken up that they just went on to win the Stanley Cup.
3) A loss would show that the Sharks can't beat the Kings when it matters.
Mostly False: The Sharks need all the points they can get right now and I'd argue that all the points "matter" so right now they are losing to a lot of teams "when it matters", the Kings are not special.
4) A Sharks win would be a good momentum builder.
Mostly True: A sharks win in front of that huge crowed should be an awesome momentum builder and if they start rolling through teams we might be able to look back and say man that Stadium Series game got them amped up. They could also lose their next game because that's basically what they have done a lot since their last "big wins" throughout the season.
5) This is a must win for the Sharks.
True: It is a must win but not because it's the stadium series game, but because everyone has made better use of the game they have played already and have games in hand on the Sharks.
So if weather your watching at home or especially if you're lucky enough to be at the game enjoy this once in a life time experience, enjoy the spectacle of it, enjoy the moment and hopefully enjoy a Sharks win because lord knows we need one. Most importantly though leave the false narratives at home don't make this game bigger than it is for the wrong reasons and it will probably be an enjoyable experience regardless of the outcome.
Remember if you have a question you would like me to answer in the Breaking It Down blog please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, unless you ask I will not post who asked the question so don't worry about how stupid you think the question may be because to me there is no such thing.
If you want to read previous blogs please check out http://ianblogssharks.blogspot.ca
What are your thoughts on this upcoming game?