Let’s go Sharks!
Stanley Cup - Hockey Playoffs
This experience was incredible but I have to explain a bit for some to get the basis of Hockey, NHL and Playoffs. I am far to be an expert but my Swiss friend explained to me a bit. In the Hockey League here named NHL, there are 30 teams from both the US and Canada. The championship is now over so it is time for the Stanley Cup, the Hockey Playoffs. The rules are simple. You take the 16 best teams in the NHL (8 from each Conference, either Western Conference or Eastern Conference) and they play an elimination tournament. Every round, two teams (from the same Conference) have to play several times one against the other. The first team who wins 4 games wins the round and accesses the next round. If you do the maths, you will find out that there will be maximum 7 games between two teams (since 7=4+3). Alright! I think that we have everything.
Since the 8 teams from a given Conference are playing one against the others, at the end of this part, there is one winning team for the given Conference. Hence, the Stanley Cup final is a game between the best team from the Western Conference and the one from the Eastern Conference.
You take 8 teams from the same Conference. They play an elimination tournament to elect the best team of the Conference. Once we have the best team of each Conference, they play to know which team is the best of the WORLD! To win a round, a team has to win 4 games first. That’s all folks!
The Sharks is the San Jose hockey team, a city right next to Cupertino, CA. They are pretty good and they accessed in the Western Conference final (i.e. the Stanley Cup Semi-final so). Last Wesnesday (5/25/16), the Sharks were playing the 6th game against the Blues from St Louis. The score of the 5 previous games was 3-2 for the Sharks. That is, if the Sharks win this game, they will access the Stanley Cup final AND win the Western Conference Cup. Now, you can see how important is this game (and why the ticket was pretty expensive as well 😅).
The begining of the show
I was a little bit late because of traffic jam on my way to San Jose, so I missed the moment when the players come onto the ice ☹️. Anyway I could hear what was happening and see on the screens. James Hetfield, guitarist and singer from the famous band Metallica 🤘🏼, opened the Show on the screen right before the players to come in. They entered the ice under the Metallica’s song “Seek and Destroy” (so great!) and a huge ovation from their supporters (i.e. the whole SAP center actually). At this point, it was already amazing. Every spectator had received a light to put on their wrist. Every time they clap their hands, the light flashes or the bunch of lights can be synchronized as well by the SAP Center manager (or whatever). This give a great atmosphere with the music and everything!
The Sharks Family
Americans are so much involved in supporting their team. Moreover, the Sharks were playing very well and then comes the first goal. The guy next to me check my hand like if we were brothers, people were hugging in front of me even if they didn’t know each other. And this was only the first goal. Trust me it was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. At every Sharks’ goal you could hear a very loud siren (just like a boat siren) which add even more sensations. At the end, the Sharks won 5-2 🏆.
A little memory
After this incredible, amazing and unforgettable moment I could not leave without a memory. I bought the official Sharks Jersey from #8 Joe Pavelski, the best scorer and captain of the team. This one is collector 👌🏼