The Nashville Predators are hoping that Sharks History repeats itself.
In November of 2005, the San Jose Sharks acquired superstar center Joe Thornton from the Boston Bruins. Since that trade, the Sharks have missed the postseason only once, yet they’ve never been to the Stanly Cup Final.
Soon after the Thornton trade, Sharks management surrounded him with much of what is now considered “the core”. These “core” San Jose Sharks seem to have been together forever. Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Marc-Edourd Vlasic, and Joe Pavelski have all been on the team since at least 2006.
The Sharks have built up quite a reputation for choking in the playoffs. So I thought it would be fun to re-visit all of these heart-breaking losses!
2004-Conference Final-Loss to Flames in 6
2006-2nd round-Loss to Oilers in 6
-First year with Joe Thornton
2007-2nd round-Loss to Red Wings in 6
2008-2nd round-Loss to Stars in 6
Keep in mind this team beat the Nashville Predators in the playoffs so don’t laugh too hard. From 2006-2008, the San Jose Sharks lost three straight times in the second round in exactly 6 games. Moreover, these were Joe Thornton’s prime years, as illustrated by his 335 points between 3 seasons. Yes, he actually had that many. Don’t believe me? Check out his player page. Consistently disappointing, but nothing I would call heart-breaking.
2009-1st round-Loss to Ducks in 6
-This was the first time since 02 that the San Jose Sharks failed to make it out of the first round.
2010- Conference Final So wow Sharks are looking good, walking into the conference finals with only 3 losses. Should do pretty well right?
Loss- Swept by Blackhawks
– The worse part about this sweep is that they played relatively well. They were not blown out of any game. Sharks simply never got a bounce.
2011-Conference Final- Loss in 5 to Canucks
-Once again it seems the Sharks just can’t get it done when it counts.
2012-1st round- Loss to Blues in 5
-This one was not too much of a surprise. The San Jose Sharks were a 7th playing the Blues in 2nd place.
2013- 1st round- Victory, sweeps Canucks
The 6th seeded Sharks swept the 3rd seeded Canucks and ended Alain Vigneault‘s tenure in Vancouver.
2nd round-Loss in 7
San Jose came in rusty and lost the first 2 games. However, they rebounded and tied the series at home. The Kings and the Sharks then split games with the Kings winning in game 7.
This is another disappointment for the Sharks.
More from Predlines
- Nashville Predators 2023 Training Camp Spotlight: Kiefer Sherwood
- Captain Candidates if Nashville Predators Didn’t Have Roman Josi
- The All-Time 25 Games or Less Nashville Predators Lineup
- Nashville Predators 2023 Training Camp Spotlight: Cody Glass
- Joakim Kemell Flashes his Offense in Nashville Predators Loss to Tampa
They don’t seem to be able to handle adversity. During the 9 consecutive years of disappointing exits, the Sharks had 4 different captains, according to
, Joe Thornton, and now
. If you have been watching this series, you will notice that 2 of the 3 former captains are still playing on the team. Former Head Coach,
, demoted Marleau in 2009 when he took over the team. As
retired after just one year of captaincy, Joe Thornton took the helm in 2010.
2014- Round 1 vs Los Angeles Kings- Crushing Loss in 7
-Under immense pressure to perform, San Jose rattled off 3 straight wins against the cross-state rival. The San Jose Sharks also vastly outplayed the Kings in the first two games, outscoring the Kings 15-5, according to NHL.com. After an overtime win the game 3, San Jose had the Kings on the ropes.
However, past playoff demons reared their ugly heads. The San Jose Sharks lost the next 3 games by a combined score of 18-4.
Joe Thornton was demoted from his captaincy and the team played without an official captain the next season while they missed the playoffs. Currently, Joe Pavelski is the leader on the team and San Jose Sharks fans are hoping he has the leadership that the past captains apparently lacked.
As Nashville Predators fans, this is very similar to the round 1 match-up against the Ducks. Utilizing the opponents own demons against them. After being up by two games, only to see the series tied-up in dramatic fashion might get in the heads of the Sharks veterans. Then, in Game 6, the Sharks had another opportunity to close out a series and failed in dramatic fashion once again.
The Nashville Predators will hope to jump out to an early lead in game 7 to truly plant seeds of doubt into the heads of players like Joe Thornton. The San Jose Sharks are waiting to choke, the Nashville Predators will do their best to help them along.
Tonight may add another chapter to this story if the Sharks find that apple in their throat. The Nashville Predators are confident, loose team. That is just what the Sharks don’t need.