The NHL does have a sense of humor, after all.

A cruel one, perhaps, but a sense of humor just the same.

OK, so who’s the prankster who has left the San Jose Sharks, the greatest playoff chokers of the 21st Century, with this 3-0 lead over the mighty Detroit Red Wings?

Surely this must be the work of one of those cut ups who slices the laces off your skates or puts Ex-Lax in your chocolate bar.

Look around the Sharks dressing room at Joe Louis Arena. Follow the sounds of the snickers and muffled giggles. The prankster is hiding somewhere; no doubt he wants to bear witness to his practical joke.

Someone gave the Sharks a 3-0 series lead and told them to have at it?

It’s like giving Charlie Brown a football to see whether he seeks out Lucy to hold it.

The Sharks? A 3-0 series lead? Really?

Where’s Allen Funt? Or Tom Bergeron? Someone must be recording this for one of those “America’s Dumbest Crooks” shows.

The San Jose Sharks have a 3-0 series lead. Let the fun begin.

This is going to be a doozy. Better grab hold of your sides because they’re gonna be a hurtin’.

They gave the 1964 Phillies a 6-1/2 game lead with 12 games to play and hilarity ensued. The 1969 Cubs did pratfalls. They say the ’69 Mets were a Miracle. But they didn’t win the East Division that year—the Cubs lost it.

Now they’re handing the Sharks a 3-0 lead and Vegas has no idea what to do with such a development.

The San Jose Sharks and the playoffs, in any year beginning with 20, have been like oil and water. Or maybe more like vinegar and baking soda.

This has never been the Sharks’ time. They’ve played like they’re allergic to hockey in any month that starts with May.

Now they have a 3-0 lead over the Red Wings. Not only is this a chance to eliminate a team, it’s a chance to eliminate a dynasty.

Who’s writing this stuff? MAD magazine?

The Sharks and a 3-0 lead is theatre of the absurd. It’s off the charts wacky. It’s giving a heroin addict $500 and expecting him not to blow it on blow.

The Red Wings can’t win four games tonight. Even against the Sharks. But if they win tonight, just one measly win, get ready for some fun.

There’ll be 17,000-plus tight fannies in HP Pavilion on Saturday night. Just one win by the Red Wings and all the pressure will be on the Sharks. And they have just the lineage to become the 21st century version of the 1974-75 Pittsburgh Penguins.

Those Pens were the last NHL team to cough up a 3-0 series lead.

If the Red Wings win tonight, they’ll be like Jason in those “Friday the 13th Movies,” still alive and twitching. If they swing out west to San Jose and steal a win there in Game Five, they’ll be like Freddie Krueger—showing up in the Sharks’ bad dreams.

By then the Sharks’ legs will be like cooked spaghetti and their throats as closed as a bank on a Sunday.

The San Jose Sharks with a 3-0 lead.

That’s a real knee-slapper. Those crazy folks at the NHL—what are they going to come up with next?

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