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.”