Let the battle commence. (Pregame news/links)
The teams spent about the first five minutes of play feeling each other out and the Sharks worked on getting the rust out (with bad passes and missed positions). Period ended 0-0.
Predators scored in the second on their second power play, leading 1-0 after 40 minutes.
The Sharks scored five straight, including two power play goals and two empty nets, in the third. Predators desperately scored one with goalie pulled. Hutton came in relief to play the last few seconds of the game.
(And as seen on TV: there was a black cat that ran across the ice before warm ups. Not mentioned/seen at game, so perhaps it happened before the doors opened?)
Final score: Sharks 5-2
And so it begins.
Series previews, general links
Predators are coming in hot (but probably battered) from their game 7 win two days ago. Sharks have been healing and resting (with hard practices) for a week.
I’m expecting both teams to come out hard in the early part of the game to try and get an advantage.
Sharks have yet to change their line up this post season. Haley, Zubrus, DeMelo, Tennyson and Reimer have zero minutes of ice time (and the first four haven’t even dressed for a game). Tennyson is back in NHL after three-game conditioning stint with AHL Barracuda.
Time for a little dreaming
Down 2-1, it’s win or go home for the Barracuda tonight.
Guessing Chartier and Labanc may get in the lineup.
Barracuda twitter list | Opponent twitter | Barracuda preview
KDOW live feed | AHL Standings
AHL game summary | Barracuda recap | Gackle Report
Chartier, Labanc and Brodinski were in the line up tonight. But the Barracuda came up short, losing the game 4-1 and the series 3-1. All season Dell has been very good; the significant issue was lack of offense.
Finally, a known opponent.
Sharks twitter list
Twitter list of opponent news
Former Sharks on opponent: Carter Hutton; Scott Nichol (Director of Player Development)
Predators flew to San Jose on Thursday after winning their first round series in their first game 7 against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday, and open up the series on Friday.
The Predators have never won a series against the Sharks, and the Sharks have never faced the Predators in the second round. Sharks won both the 05-06 and 06-07 WCQF series against the Predators in five games.
The Sharks forwards average 6′ 1″, and 202.8 pounds; defense 6′ 2″ and 212.8. Forwards average age is 28.6, defense 28.4.
The Predators forwards average about the same height, more than two pounds heavier, and a year and a half younger. Defense is half an inch shorter, more than six pounds lighter and again about a year and a half younger.
Nashville is riding high after its first game 7, and a win. So could come in “hot” against the Sharks who haven’t played for a week.
This will probably a physical series, based on the # of hits each team had in the regular season. Predators averaged more than a minute more of penalties per game than the Sharks. Sharks scored more goals and let in fewer goals than the Predators.
While both teams had good road playoff records in the first round, and the Sharks had a poor regular season home record, I don’t know that it’ll be that much a difference with the intensity of the second round playoffs.
And sometimes all the stats and calculations in the world don’t mean a thing when the puck drops.
My call: Sharks in 6.
Series preview, news/links
And off the guys head to Ontario, where they haven’t won all season, with the series tied 1-1.
But that doesn’t mean there is no hope for the Barracuda.
Playoff results are not indicative based on the regular season results. It’s an issue of which players are on the roster “today”, how teams are playing through their injuries, and how “hot” players/goalies can get. With a bit of influence/encouragement from the fans.
Except that Michael hasn’t played for the Barracuda this post season yet.
Reign’s Sutter missed another day of practice. Reign Coach updates on injuries.
Gackle feature on Goldobin.
AHL daily preview
Sharks prospect Chartier is heading to Ontario for the AHL playoffs after being ousted from WHL playoffs. (Guessing it’s doubtful for tonight, but he may arrive in time for puck drop.) Labanc signed to AHL ATO and heading to Barracuda.
Barracuda twitter list | Opponent twitter | Gackle preview
KDOW live feed | AHL Standings
AHL game summary | Barracuda recap
Barracuda outshot 43-17, outscored 3-1. Dell pulled after giving up 3rd goal on 39 saves. Goldobin scored the lone goal for San Jose.
Hopefully both Chartier and Labanc can be in the lineup tomorrow.
The Sharks got a well deserved two days away from the rink after winning their series Friday night. Players were tweeting from around the Bay, enjoying time with family. (For instance, Pavelski took in the Giants game on Saturday and the Earthquakes game on Sunday. Burns went camping with the kids — in the driveway. Vlasic played with his three dogs. A few more “what I did on my weekend off” in the articles below.)
Now the wait continues to see if they’ll play Anaheim or Nashville next. Nashville forced a game 7 on Wednesday. The Pacific Division final will start on Friday.
The reasons the Sharks won include: good goal tending, better defense, good depth (although the scoring part didn’t really kick in until game 5), and health. Sharks lead in the series for nearly 174 minutes, while the Kings just lead about 4 minutes. (And even in the Kings game 3 win – it was in OT; they never led in the game.) The Sharks had the size and patience to weather the barrage of hits inflicted by the Kings. The Sharks did not change their lineup for the entire series.
The Sharks will be off six full days between winning round one and opening round two. Definitely time for the bumps and bruises to heal (or get a whole lot better). DeBoer addresses the question of “rest vs rust”. Sharks will want to start fast, regardless of opponent as they will only have one day off between series (and the Preds have to travel from SoCal if they win), and play hard.
Some playoff reflections and news links:
- NYT – looking at the impact on sleep for pro sports players
Includes quotes from Stanford researcher who has been working with Sharks (and Warriors). This can be a huge concern, especially with some players getting to the point of needing a pill to sleep and another pill get wake up/get alert, and getting addicted. Sharks have been working on a non-drug system, using natural things like chamomile, to help athletes “settle down” to better sleep.
- AP: Sharks hoping depth makes a difference
IOW, they are more than the top D pairing and first line. Depth can make a huge difference when injuries impact the roster.
- Round 2 schedule released (with 2 scenarios for Pacific Division)
2 scenarios depending on whether Ducks or Predators win on Wednesday. Regardless, Sharks will play games 1 and 2 in California on Friday 4/29 and Sunday 5/1 (they’ll either host Preds or travel to SoCal). Games 3 and 4 will be Tuesday and Thursday. (Different start times in Nashville than California.)
- Postmedia: Sharks exorcise demons
Will there ever be a time the Sharks no longer have to deal with demons or 1000 pound gorillas, or chimpanzees on the back or albatrosses around the neck in media write ups?
- AP: Sharks waiting to find out opponent
<Insert Jeopardy theme>
- AP: Jones, a surprise goalie, from the first round
I guess someones haven’t been watching the team all year if they think that Jones just “happened” starting in the playoffs. Then again, not having the pressure and scrutiny gave the Sharks some breathing room and an easier way to exceed “expectations”.
- 95.7 The Game: DeBoer on the radio 4/26 (audio)
Preparations for the upcoming series; what went right
- SJMN WTC: Donskoi rises to the occasion
Donskoi is not well known around the league (by fans) yet, but he’s proving his experience in his first NHL playoffs.
- SJMN WTC: Couture, Doughty not BFFs
They may have been at one point (when the played on the same team), but verbal barbs and huge NHL rivalry have cooled (to freezing?) any relationship that was there.
- SJMN: Sharks enjoy being couch potatoes waiting for next opponent
And a weekend with family and friends, watching the games, waiting for Wednesday’s game 7
- SJMN WTC: Sharks to open 2nd round on Friday
Series will start on Friday, but waiting to hear if the game will be in NorCal or SoCal
- SJMN Purdy: Burns leads Sharks in facial hair and more
Burns describes his beard grooming techniques
- SJMN: GM Wilson silenced his critics
Bringing DeBoer and staff in; acquiring Jones, Martin, Ward, Zubrus, Polak, Reimer, Spaling and more — all have helped turn around the team that was booed off the ice last spring
- Gackle: Benefits of rest outweigh risks of rust
- Gackle: Sharks take advantage of two day break from hockey
Or what I did on the weekend after the Sharks won the opening round to relax. 😀
- Gackle: Reimer, Zubrus contributing to playoff success
“You just want to be super positive, keep the guys up, keep them excited,” Reimer said. “You just want to make sure you’re doing your part when you’re on the ice whether it’s practice, warmups, pregame skates. You want to be in a good mood and working hard.”
- Chron: Sharks put on convincing display against Kings
- NHL: Five reasons the Sharks eliminated the Kings
- Sharks: New blood to settle bad blood
- Sharks: Jones rising to the challenge
- Sportsnet: Doughty to blame for Kings loss?
“San Jose lit the lamp 16 times over the course of five games against the Kings, and Doughty was on the ice for 10 of them (63 per cent). He was also out there for each of the Sharks’ game-winning goals, including the third-period marker from Joonas Donskoi in Game 5 that ultimately knocked Los Angeles out of the playoffs.”
Sharks scored three straight, missed on a penalty shot, then gave up three straight, leaving the game tied after 40 minutes. But the Sharks came back with two more, plus an empty net, to push past the Kings and advance to the next round.
Donskoi, Tierney and Karlsson all scored their first career NHL playoff goals. Nice to have secondary scoring help out in series.
Relief of finally getting past the Kings? Definitely. Revenge for that 0-4 losing streak in 2014? Kinda, but what about the 2013 series loss? All time, the Sharks and Kings are 2-2 in the playoffs. This is the first time the series has been decided in less than seven games.
Sharks were clearly the better team in this series.
Perhaps my favorite stat of the series: The Kings had a lead in the series for a total of 4:02 (and that was only because they scored the first goal in game 1).
Thank you, Los Angeles Kings, for a good series.
The Sharks now wait for their next opponent, either the Anaheim Ducks or Nashville Predators.
Postgame news links