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Sharks Gameday: The Invisible Playoffs

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You can't choke if nobody knows there's a series going on.

Don't cry, Jooris. It's only an invisible playoff game.
Don't cry, Jooris. It's only an invisible playoff game.
Derek Leung/Getty Images

I've been a guest on a couple different team's blogs or podcasts this season, and the most common question is, "What the hell is up with the Sharks? They look great, then they look terrible. Is this team capable of making some noise in the playoffs?" My responses are usually, "no idea," "yup," and "fuck you this is a trick question I'm not answering."

The truth is that there is no point in predicting how the Sharks will do when they get to the playoffs based on their regular season play. I mean, if they look bad in the regular season, chances are they're going to step on a rake in the first round. But the chaos of playoff hockey means that even playing well during the regular season doesn't mean you're going to win.

But what if we secretly divide up the regular season into 7-game series? If the Sharks win or lose 4 games in these chunks, that series is over, and a new one begins. How do the Sharks do in this scenario? I went through the Sharks games starting in October and divided them into series.

2015-16a Playoffs

4-0 - A sweep! It all started with them pole-axing the Kings at home in game 1.

1-4 - Ooof. Well, that was a short run.

2015-16b Playoffs

4-3 - A tough game 7 win over the Red Wings just feels right.

4-0 - An easy second round sweep, all on the road, with the clincher in Pittsburgh.

2-4 - Another tough loss in the conference finals.

2015-16c Playoffs

2-4 - This one sucks.

2015-16d Playoffs

2-4 - So does this one.

2015-16e Playoffs

4-0 - That's more like it.

4-2 - Pasting the Avs 6-1 in the clincher showed they're serious this time. The only losses were in overtime.

2-2 - The series is all tied up, so it's best of 3 starting tonight against the Flames.

Flames @ Sharks

7:30 PM Pacific

Prediction: There's a playoff atmosphere at the tank, unbeknownst to all the fans and players, during game 5 of the 2015-16e Conference Finals! The Sharks invisibly march their way toward the 2015-16e Stanley Cup!