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Sharks Galiardi: We didn’t feel great in 2012 playoffs, we do now

Apr 30, 2013, 9:55 AM EDT

TJ Galiardi #21, Adam Burish #37 and James Sheppard #15 of the San Jose Sharks celebrates after Galiardi scored a goal against the Colorado Avalanche in the second period at HP Pavilion on February 26, 2013 in San Jose, California. Sheppard got an assist on the play.
(February 25, 2013 - Source: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Last year the San Jose Sharks’ playoff run lasted all of five games. Will things be any different this time around?

They certainly believe things have changed.

“100 percent,” Sharks forward T.J. Galiardi said in a CSN Bay Area report. “Confidence is one big thing. I don’t think we felt great going into the playoffs. No one admitted it last year, but we didn’t really feel great going into it. This year we’re so balanced up front, that any one of our lines can hurt other teams.

“It’s going to be hard for other teams to try and figure out how to match up against us. We feel way better about it this year than last year.”

The Sharks’ season was one of extremes. They won their first seven games, only to follow it up with a 5-10-6 stretch. Not long after that they got on another seven-game winning streak and eventually landed the sixth seed.

Along the way, the Sharks think they found a team identity.

“I think in the past 15-20 games we’ve found what made us successful and gives us success on the ice, and that’s playing a north-south game,” forward Tommy Wingels said.

“At times you can make pretty plays, but at other times you’ve just got to advance the puck. With teams swarming and constantly hounding the puck, you’ve got to move forward. That’s something we’ve got to continue to do.”

It helps that the Sharks have been one of the best teams in the league when it comes to killing penalties and that goaltender Antti Niemi has been strong, even during the Sharks’ rough patches.

“We’ve been playing a better game for a longer period now, and we’ve had more unity with our team as far as lines and pairings go down the stretch than we did last year,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan.

The question is if it will be enough when their first-round series against the Vancouver Canucks starts on Wednesday.

  1. polegojim - Apr 30, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Niemi will be the reason the Sharks go deep, if they do. If he’s not at his best, it will be tough for a lower performing offense.

  2. thewaytonever - Apr 30, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Well it’s a good thing Nemo has always been strong in the playoffs. Even last year vs the Blues he was stellar, just the rest of the team was lack-luster. If our defense continues to play a solid game it allows all the forward talent we have to go buck wild. This will be a great series. I can’t wait until Wednesday!

  3. btlpper68 - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Their play has been incosnent but when there I’m their game they can skate with anyone

  4. sjsharks66 - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    Feeling pretty confident about this post season. Hope i am not wrong.

  5. purpleguy - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    It’s a shame that Burns has no playoff beard prepared.

  6. ethanmacleod1685 - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    Lets fkn go sharks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. phillyphanatic77 - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    I watched a lot of Sharks games towards the end of the season and I would not be surprised in the least if this team made it to the Western finals. Niemi has been lights out in the games I’ve seen and that’s what you need to make a run. Darkhorse of the West.

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