SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - Playoff hockey is back in the Bay Area. The San Jose Sharks faced off against the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With Sharkie leading the way, San Jose Sharks fans marched to the SAP Center for Game 1.
“Watching our boys make it, watching our boys do absolutely everything they can to get up to the top,” said Emma Gardner of San Jose.
It’s that time of year playoff mode when the City of San Jose is transformed into Sharks territory. Fans turn up in teal, grow their beards, paint their faces and their hopes are high.
“As long as we play tough offense, tough defense, and stay out of the penalty box we have nothing else to worry about,” said Reynol Sanchez of San Jose.
This series is considered payback. The San Jose Sharks were eliminated from the playoffs last year after losing to the Knights in the second round. The closest the Sharks ever got to the Stanley Cup was back in 2016 when they made it the finals but ultimately lost to the Pittsburg Penguins.
No one wants the Sharks to have a long playoff run more than the city itself.
“Hundreds of thousands of dollars will be spent in San Jose during the playoff festivities,” said Elisabeth Handler from the City of San Jose’s Economic Development.
Downtown bars, restaurants and hotels all profit. At Brittania Arms, it's their biggest party of the year with shark-a-rita's and Fintage 408 wine flowing. Sales are expected to quadruple.
“The amount of traffic, volume in revenue, all that said it plays our number one role financiall,” said Brittania Arms General Manager Sonny Walters.
The real payoff is exposing San Jose to visitors who wouldn't be here if it weren't playoff hockey. Brad Ellis and his daughter are in San Jose from Vegas, staying in town until Saturday.
“We love it, we love to come support the team,” said Brad Ellis of Las Vegas.
“Sharks in five, I say sharks in six,” said Mason & Jim Davis of San Jose.
Those are predictions from two diehard Sharks fans for the series. The longer it is, the better for San Jose all around.
“I think this is our time,” said Jim Davis of San Jose. “I want to show all of them. We are team to be reckoned with.”
San Jose Sharks and the Vegas Golden Knights are back at the SAP Center on Friday night. Then, the Sharks hit the road and play in Vegas on Sunday.