Could this be the year Sharks don't tank?

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:38 PM ET

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks can hear the noise outside their dressing room. It circulates every spring.

They've been called every name in the book for their past playoff failures. They're well aware of what people are saying about them and they'd like to right the ship as Round 2 opened Friday against the Detroit Red Wings.

The Sharks, who have struggled to succeed in the post-season, would like to shake the many labels they've been tagged with. Getting past the Los Angeles Kings in the first round was one hurdle. Now, they face a bigger task.

They know the pressure they are facing.

"This organization has the reputation, as do the (Washington) Capitals who are starting to build one now, as a team that hasn't been able to win the whole thing," Sharks defenceman Dan Boyle told QMI Agency before puck drop at the HP Pavilion.

"As players, I don't think we get into that stuff all that much. Winning the whole thing is not an easy thing to do. Only one team wins and 29 other teams are disappointed every year.

"I mean, (bleep), I've been around for 13 years and I've been fortunate enough to win it once, but it's not easy. As far as I'm concerned, when I look at our team I'm not sure I don't know that I'd change much if I could. I like what we've got. It's just a matter of getting it done."

In 14 trips to the playoffs in franchise history, the Sharks have been to the third round only twice. They've never advanced to the Stanley Cup final and they've been favourites during many of those post-season flops.

For many reasons, the Sharks just haven't been able to get it done. They've changed coaches and moved players out. It seems every spring there is talk they need to strike at their core by moving Joe Thornton or Patrick Marleau.

They'd like to put all that behind them now.

This Sharks team seems deeper. It has three lines that can contribute, with the emergence of players such as Joe Pavelski and standout rookie Logan Couture.

"There's always going to be the pressure," winger Devin Setoguchi said. "Everybody is always counting us out being here in San Jose and people think that we're not going to make it. We believe in ourselves in here. We've just got to take this series-by-series and game-by-game.

"If you look ahead, it's not going to be good, but we believe in ourselves and believe in this group. Our coaches and our GM believe in us. That's all that really matters, what happens inside the room."

Is there a lack of respect?

"I think we do get respect," Setoguchi said. "There are still a lot of people who will always be a little skeptical because there hasn't been a championship here. That's how it's always going to be.

"Within the organization and within the group we believe, and what people say out of it we don't read much into it."

If the Sharks want to see what it takes to have success in the playoffs, all they have to do is look across the ice at the Wings. They've won championships through hard work and tremendous talent.

"Both organizations do a tremendous job building their teams and figuring out what both teams need," said Sharks coach Todd McLellan, who spent three years as an assistant to Mike Babcock.

"There are a lot of similarities in the way the teams play and the way they're built.

"The only difference is they've got a couple of more Cups than we do and we're going to try to change that in this series."


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