2010 NHL Playoffs: Sharks v. Avalanche

San Jose Sharks (1) vs. Colorado Avalanche (8)

So what the hell are we going to get from San Jose? A perennial contender for the Cup. The only problem? It’s the Presidents Cup because the Sharks are always one of the best teams during the regular season, but fall apart come playoffs time.

Colorado has been a good story all year. A young team that wasn’t expected to make much noise seemed to play free and easy for much of the year. Led by the future of the franchise, Matt Duchene and free agent goalkeeper Craig Anderson, the Avs will battle the Sharks, but this will most likely be spun as a great learning experience for Joe Sacco’s young team when all is said and done.

But then again, these are the San Jose “we don’t like hockey in May” Sharks. They hold all the cards. If Colorado wins this series it will be because, once again, the Sharks have failed to live up to expectations. Now they are almost expected to fail.

The Sharks have a team loaded with elite level talent, but that talent hasn’t always shown up when the lights shone brightest. The most recent example was the performance of the Sharks big line of Heatley-Thornton-Marleau for Canada at the Olympics. Against the weaker teams in the round robin the Sharks line was dominant, but against the tougher teams in the later rounds they were relegated to spot duty.

If I had to bet: I hate to pick San Jose because they’ve burned many prognosticators in years past, but I really have trouble seeing how a team with this much talent can’t make it to at least the second round. I’ll take the Sharks in 5. I’ll be rooting for Colorado and if they win, I promise to never make this mistake again. Book it!

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