posted to YouTube by FlyingMagicPotatoes)
Do you wanna know what a hockey player is? A hockey player is a guy that keeps playing, no matter what the situation. Joe Pavelski did not have a very good first or second period. But Joe Pavelski is such a player -- is a guy who will continue to play as hard as he can and do what he gets, do what he can when he gets the opportunity. That's a hockey player, right there, ladies and gentlemen.
In their last three games (all home at the Shark Tank in San Jose: March 4th against Montreal, March 6th against Columbus, and March 11th against Nashville), the San Jose Sharks have done something unique in NHL history: won three consecutive games when trailing entering the final period.
I know that most of you could care less about hockey, and probably those of you who care about hockey could care less about the San Jose Sharks. But I suffered through eight seasons of tickets with the Boys in Teal, starting their first year in San Jose at the Shark Tank, and that experience marks you -- at least it marked me. The experience of utter team failure and spectacular over-achivement. Agony over losses, ecstasy over victories. Pain over injuries. Endless figuring of possible routes to the playoffs or useful trades. Learning that your team can manage to lose no matter what the situation. The Noise*
The Sharks are getting a reputation for playoff choking in the NHL because they keep re-loading for a Cup run and failing. This year there are indications that they may beat that reputation. Four Sharks (Thornton, Heatley, Marleau, and Boyle) came home from Vancouver with gold medals. Joe Pavelski (shown above scoring one of his four points in last night's 3rd period) came home with a silver medal. And now the Sharks have come back in three straight games when trailing entering the 3rd period.
I've seen the Canadian Men's and Women's Hockey teams bring home gold this year at home. When Sidney Crosby's "golden goal" went in, we at home could hear the roar from "downtown" Lynn Valley where a big screen was set up. I'm surprised we didn't hear all the way from Vancouver. If the Sharks go all the way this year, I think I'll hear the cheer all the way up the West Coast from San Jose.
And I would love that.
* If you say The Noise to anyone who's been in the Shark Tank during the playoffs, they will understand. It's the sound of 17,100 of your closest friends whose names you don't know exploding in cheers. It's not unlike the sound a space shuttle makes taking off -- a sound which is visible crossing water and tactile when it reaches you. The Noise is more than decibels. Earplugs will stop The Noise from deafening you but they can't keep you from feeling it. Because you're a Californian, you know the building isn't shaking from an earthquake, but if you weren't a Californian, you'd be running for a doorway. You can't record The Noise -- it just comes out sounding like a big hum -- whether it's the Shark Tank or the space shuttle.
But if you're there, you can feel it.