In the course of not even a week, the Sharks and their various proxies have gone from "Sharks in four" to "we've got a series on our hands" to panic to (per the comments section of SBN's excellent Sharks blog) the Kings' apparent "over-confidence," (projection denied) and now...of all things...well, check it out...

At quiet Staples Center, Sharks won't have much in the way of noise to distract them - San Jose Mercury News

There were no excuses for the Sharks' dismal performance Saturday night. There should be even one fewer excuse in Game 3 on Tuesday night. The contest will be played at Staples Center [...]. So. Big home-ice advantage for the Kings, right? At playoff time, the National Hockey League is famous for impossibly raucous, loud and intimidating buildings. Staples Center is not one of them, though.

It was pretty loud last spring in the Vancouver series. But don't let me interrupt.

To be sure, the Sharks may struggle to pick up a victory on their trip south. But it will have nothing to do with a smothering crowd atmosphere, unless you count the odor of some movie star's perfume.

That is a strange and pathetic insult to level at Kings fans. The inference, I think, is that Kings fans are shallow (thus, Hollywood) poseurs, clueless bandwagon fans who show up for the playoffs, but don't know **** about hockey.

That's you he's talking about, Kings fans.

Staples Center is a jewel of an arena. Yet as hockey venues go ... well, if HP Pavilion can be a Metallica concert when the puck drops, Staples is more of a Kenny G experience.

I've never been to the Shark Tank or whatever it's called now. HP Pavilion, right? In general, my experience is these corporate-sponsored luxury-suite-stacked sports/concert venues are, as structures, more similar than different. Same concourse. Same escalators. Same team store (yes, different jerseys). Same restaurants.

But he's not talking about the building. He's talking about the people in the building. You. Sharks fans are more "Metallica," by which I think he means "edgy and cool" and aggressively non-pop (or at least as non-pop as you can be while still winning not quite a dozen Grammy Awards and selling about a billion dollars worth of albums). You, Kings fans, are more "Kenny G.", grotesquely vapid, slick and smooth and fake and edgeless and trite and frankly sorta effeminate.

Or maybe he just means the Sharks fans are more Thrash Metal while Kings fans are more Smooth Jazz. (As an aside, I am posting off in the margin the classic Pat Metheny treatise on the reprehensible hideousness of Kenny G.; it's tangential to this topic, but entirely worth your time.)

How tough a place is Staples to play, really? How noisy? "I would put it in the middle of the pack," Sharks forward Ryane Clowe said. He was being generous. Staples opened in 1999. Almost immediately, it drew mixed reviews. Bruce Springsteen played the building's first concert. He complained from the stage about the three-level stack of luxury boxes that separates the lower and upper bowls. That triple tier of hey-look-at-us-and-our-Cristal-champagne-glasses was just perfect for a city of showoff glitterati.

Almost makes me wonder why The Boss would even play such a venue.

[As] the Sharks saw in their 4-0 Saturday night loss, if the Kings take an early lead, mounting a comeback against them is like fighting through a herd of frenzied Lindsay Lohan paparazzi.

First of all, as a metaphor, that is incoherent. Second, does the writer not see that the Sharks are Lindsay Lohan in that sentence?

There can be no more slow starts for our beloved Los Tiburones.

Actual question: does anyone call the Sharks this?

[...] In February, the team went on a grueling 14-day trip and won five of seven games. "That trip kind of got us going," Murray said. "I think we're a pretty confident team on the road.[...] We seem to play a simpler game on the road, do the little details better." Concentrating better should also be less problematic in a non-riotous place such as Staples.

Note to Kings fans: the Sharks appear to have problems concentrating IF YOU'RE NOISY. So whatever you do...

Also, compared with NBA games, the Kings don't attract as many distracting star faces.

But. You. Said.

The Los Angeles hockey fan "celebrity" list tends to run along the less-ritzy lines of comedian Martin Short, actor Cuba Gooding Jr. and talk show host Craig Ferguson.

So, if I understand correctly, the crowd at Staples is lame because it's full of rich, ignorant celebrities, only there really aren't very many of them and they really aren't celebrities. Like the joke from Annie Hall, "the food here is terrible...and such small portions."

"I never see anything in the stands, anyway," said Douglas Murray. Good. The Sharks need to keep their eyes on the ice. Winning at Staples won't be a snap, especially with the Kings so jacked up about a potential first-round upset. But at least the Sharks' attention won't be diverted by an overwhelming din. Or any Kardashian sightings.

Got all that?

You're a bunch of losers who don't even know how to make a proper din. You can't even cheer properly. Because you're all shallow, crass Hollywood wanna-be celebrities and/or paparazzi -- no, wait, the Kings are the paparazzi, the fans are the celebrities, but not really, just kinda lesser celebrities, like Lindsay Lohan. No, hang on, that's the Sharks. The Sharks are Lohan.

The point is

Kings fans don't know how to make noise, and this will help the Sharks, because they will be better able to concentrate if there's quiet.

Pass it along.