The San Jose has not had good luck in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the past few years. In 2008, the Sharks were bounced rather easily by the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Semifinals. In 2009, the Sharks were bounced in the first round thanks to the Anaheim Ducks even though they clinched the President's Trophy. Many had labeled the Sharks as "playoff chokers."
With Thursday night's Game 7 win, the Sharks avoided the ultimate choke. They finally got that elusive fourth win after having a 3-0 series lead over the Detroit Red Wings. Patrick Marleau ended up scoring the game winning goal with 7:47 left in the game, this coming from the player that was called "gutless" by former teammate Jeremy Roenick after Game 5. Marleau had this to say about the situation after the game:
Do you feel vindicated? Relieved? Redeemed?
"That's all kind of background noise," Marleau said of the criticism. "I just focus on what I can control and play my game. I've still got better things ahead."
The Sharks will now head to Vancouver to face off against a Canucks team that survived a similar scare against the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round. The Canucks beat the Sharks 3-0-1 in the regular season series, including an epic 5-4 shootout victory on March 10th. These two teams are evenly matched and the number 1 and 2 seeds in the Western Conference, so at the very least this series should be fairly entertaining