After nearly a decade of annual playoff disappointments, the San Jose Sharks are one win away from kicking off their latest postseason run with quite a statement about their future.
A win by the Sharks in Game 4 on Thursday night would finish off a first-round sweep of the reeling Los Angeles Kings, the 2012 champs and their biggest rivals.
San Jose has comprehensively outplayed Los Angeles in the first three games, winning in blowouts and overtimes alike. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick and the NHL's best defensive team have been shredded for 17 goals by the Sharks' balanced lines.
The Sharks also swept Vancouver in the first round last season. Captain Joe Thornton says San Jose's laid-back dressing room is feeling good about another cushion, but also isn't getting comfortable.