Looking at this series it should not be a surprise to anyone that the Canucks are up on the Sharks 3 games to 1. While I can’t deny that the four games have been interesting to watch, I do have to say they have been interesting for all the wrong reasons. Looking at the series on paper one would expect to see exciting, fast paced and well executed hockey games coming from both ends of the ice, but that’s not what we’ve seen.
What we have gotten in four games is wonderful opportunity to watch both teams decide to take turns parading players in and out of the penalty box, and watch the other team capitalize on the bone-head plays. San Jose started this cycle in game 2 when they decided to try to combat Vancouver’s high-powered offense with over the top physical play, and earn 51 penalty minutes led by Ben Eager. By the way, congratulations to Mr. Eager for earning my coveted ‘Douchebag of the Conference Finals’ award with the celebration of his goal, and follow-up taunting of Luongo when his team was still down by 4 GOALS!! Stay classy Eager.
In game 3 it was Vancouver’s turn to try to show how physical they could be. Needless to say this led to 32 penalty minutes, and allowing 2 power goals in the first 10 minutes of the game. And then there was second period of game 4 – San Jose decided to do what they do best and ‘Go San Jose’, for lack of a better term. Three ‘five-on-three’ situations and allowing Vancouver to score 3 power play goals in 1:55. All I could say was “Woooooooow” and feel bad for Melanie Wilcox. Sorry Mel.
So that brings us to tonight’s game 5 in Vancouver. Whose going to win?? What team is going to show up at each end? I’d place my bets on the Canucks to finish the Sharkies off tonight. The Sedin twins are pretty much having their way with the Sharks defense combining for 34 points in the playoffs, and Kesler seems to finally be coming alive in the series.
To make matters worse for the Sharks, they’ll be taking the ice with hurt Joe Thornton. With so much of their offense in these playoffs coming thru the play of Captain Joe. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, he brings tonight. If San Jose is going to have a chance looks for Clowe and Marleau to step up and fill Jumbo Joe’s shortcomings, and Neimi will need to stand on his head.
Prediction: Vancouver for the series win tonight. And boom goes the dynamite!
Well well well, it looks like the Sharks CAN play defense after all. I guess I should start this off with a much deserved apology to one Mr. Dan Boyle who I openly criticized in my Grizzly Bomb debut. Just like the great Donald Trump, I’ll fully take credit for the turn around in not only his play, but the teams recommitment to defense, and assume it was because they took my criticism to heart.
In all seriousiocity (yes I make up my own words as well, cause I’m that awesome), Boyle has been a defensive machine by blanketing and frustrating Zetterberg and Datsyuk in the offensive zone. Another thing I’ll take credit for is the return of Niemi’s spine. The dude appears to be back to his old form only letting in 2 goals in the first two games, as opposed to the 6 he let in during the first two games against LA. It’s these two 180 degree turns in the play of San Jose that have put up 2-0 in the series.
So what’s going on with Detroit? What happened between games 1 and 2? Even though they played a very solid game through out, the game 1 loss was nothing more than a bad bounce on shot tossed toward the net in hopes of something good happening. Not really much in game 1 to dissect and criticize. Game 2 on the other hand is a completely different beast. The wings came out just plain flat for the entire game. Not even in the final minutes of the third did you see much desperation or jump in their steps to try a tie it up. I would have expected to see the ‘Game 2 Wings’ in game 1, after 8 days of rest. Not after a day of rest and a game 1 overtime loss.
Another area of concern that surfaced in game 2 was the health of Johan Franzen. The dude is definitely not 100% right now, and the knee is keeping him from living up to ‘The Mule’ nickname he has and getting the production from him that they so desperately need. The one bright spot for Detroit right now is Jimmy Howard. So far in two games he’s stopped 79 of 83 shots for a .952 save percentage. Hopefully returning home to Joe Louis will spark the Wing’s offense and give Howard the help he needs.
All in all, this series is shaping up to be as good as what everyone thought it would be going in. Game 2 was a bit more physical than I think people expected, but hey, that just makes things that much better. I’m still sticking with my prediction of Wings in 7……… for now…..
The only reason why this series is tied 1-1 is due to the amazing play of Pekka Rinne. In game two the dude flat-out robbed Vancouver with some spectacular sprawling Hasek-Style saves, denying several would be goals, two of them in overtime.
After two games it’s quite clear that the Canucks is the far superior team. Nashville’s offense has been anemic at best, while their power play has been down right awful. Every Nashville pass and entrance into the offensive zone was more painful to watch than an episode of Scrubs… That’s right I said it. I f–king hate that show. “Oh look I’m an awkward doctor just trying make sense of this life I’ve chosen…” Blah blah blah – Who cares.
Anyways, going forward I think Nashville can possibly steal one more game on the back of Rinne at best, but it’s doubtful. I fully expect Vancouver to come out in game 3 and finally flex their regular season muscle.