Sharks Playoff Run Begins Tomorrow at the Tank

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    The Sharks have won the West and face Colorado in the first round.

    The San Jose Sharks won the Western Conference on Sunday, the final day of the NHL regular season.

    And all they had to do to earn it was sit home and watch TV.

    The Sharks spent Sunday with their 51-win regular season finished and their eyes glued to a slate of games that would determine whether they'd finish first or second in the Western Conference. Thanks to a Chicago Blackhawks loss, the Sharks did indeed win the West.

    Throw in a Colorado Avalanche loss to L.A., and the Sharks' first-round playoff match up is set. The Sharks face the eighth-seeded Avalanche, in a seven-game series beginning Wednesday night at The Tank.

    In hockey, they call 'em "Quarterfinals."

    As bad is the Sharks' luck was last year in drawing a first-round match up with the estimable Anaheim Ducks, this postseason their first-round luck looks rather awesomely good. The Avalanche are in free-fall as these playoffs begin, an under-.500 team who've lost three in a row and have blown 10 of their last 13 matches.

    The injury situation for Colorado is looking pretty bleak as well.

    Avs center Peter Mueller is still questionable with a concussion received April 4 courtesy the Sharks' Rob Blake.  The league's top-scoring rookie is playing at less than 100% with a torso injury.

    So what's stopping us from betting the 15,000-square foot marijuana warehouse on San Jose to win this series? The Sharks' recent playoff history has been dismal.

    They've been snuffed from either the first or second round of the playoffs each of the last four seasons, each time losing to an underdog team.

    In these playoffs, they'll get yet another chance to break that streak. 

     Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who subscribes the Versus Network and expects numerous uninvited friends in teal jerseys to show up at this apartment this week.