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Well, this will be an interesting finish

About two weeks ago, I had figured that the Sharks would have to just hand over the Pacific title to Anaheim. There were about 10 points separating the two teams and the Sharks couldn't get their collective heads out of their collective asses.

Since the Bill Guerin/Craig Rivet acquisitions, though, things have been much different and now the Mighty team only has a two-point lead. The conundrum for any Sharks fan is tonight's game -- root for Dallas to take away points from Anaheim and close the gap with San Jose or root for Anaheim to keep Dallas away and make up the difference later. The logical fan in me votes for the former and the paranoid fan in me KNOWS that this stupid game will go to OT and screw the Sharks in the end.

What's happened to make the Sharks awesome over the past two weeks or so? Let us count the ways:
  • Patrick Marleau's back from injury. He's obviously still not 100% but even 80% Marleau is better than 600% Patrick Rissmiller.
  • Joe Thornton is 100% healthy and making crazy tape-to-tape passes.
  • Jonathan Cheechoo woke up. Welcome to the season, Cheech, glad you could make it.
  • Evgeni Nabokov got consistent.
  • Bill Guerin started scoring.
  • Mark Bell remembered that he was getting paid to play hockey, not mope around. Thanks for not making me look stupid in my Bell #7 jersey anymore (damn the old Hawks fan inside of me).
  • Craig Rivet reminded the defense that they didn't always have to act scared; instead, they could shoot from the point.
  • Ron Wilson had a team meeting where he told the guys that they could be scary freakin' good if they just played the system. They listened. Thanks Ron.
Before the deadline, I silently feared the bejesus out of Anaheim (not that I'd ever let Sleek know about that). Now, I think the Sharks have more poise on the blueline and more bite up front and can stand toe-to-toe with the Ducks. Sure, they still can't match the Norris Twins, but Anaheim's forward group isn't as deep as the Sharks. There's more of a balance between the teams, and for the first time all season, I honestly think the Sharks can take them, all homer bravado aside. It's not going to be easy by any means, but it can be done.