2014 featured some very good hockey teams. The Kings (obviously), Blackhawks, and, yes, even the Sharks. Actually that was about it. Yep, those three. Anyways, the first round of the playoffs featured a match up between two of these teams, and it went just as you all could predict. The Sharks looked great. Then they sucked and died.
A commanding 3-0 series lead. Teams just don't blow those. The Kings after all had built up a 3-0 series lead in every round of the playoffs in 2012, and they did just fine. But the Sharks fucked it all up. This was a rival. This was their year. This was the breaking point. Instead of blowing kisses and sliding around like a minivan on black ice though, San Jose got this.
On home ice even. In fact, in the last two games at home the Sharks only managed one goal. It was a moment that really seemed to cement their reputation as complete failures who break at critical points. For the fans it became a point to finally groan, "enough," and abandon hockey entirely. Which they did. It easily explains the Warriors spike in attendance while the Sharks watched theirs plummet. This had only happened to four teams before in NHL history after all. Unlike the Bruins winning the Cup the following year though, the Sharks missed the playoffs, changed their head coach, and demoted their captain. Name another team that has a demoted captain of theirs still on their roster right now.
An eighth seed beating up on a President's Trophy winning team is still plenty funny, don't get me wrong. It just happens a lot more. Again, look at 2012. The Kings pulled that off easily against the Vancouver Canucks. It was hilarious then, but squandering a 3-0 series lead? Much easier to rub in the face of opponents. It must be terrible.
The Kings encapsulate that reverse sweep too. They are a team built for big moments. They can pull of the unthinkable. They can win. Sure, the Kings may not always look like a wrecking crew, but they surprise you with the sudden late showing of fulfilled potential.
The Ducks meanwhile are everything about an 8th seed upset. They are not really that great of a team, yet somehow win on occasion. Of course their momentum in 2009 stopped and then they bowed out of the playoffs eventually. Which of course makes the Sharks losing to them funnier too, but they still went on to contend for the next several seasons.
Good thing the Kings put a stop to that with giving San Jose a far more embarrassing bit of history to their illustrious tapestry of crap.
Prediction: Ryan Kesler sticks a knife in the back of Milan Lucic's neck. Lucic in turn rips Kesler's head off. Dustin Brown scores a hat trick by scoring all goals from center ice. Kings lose 4-3.