It’s time to #SilenceTheBlues for this season. Game 6.
Game 5 postgame news/notes
For the Blues, Wednesday night, it’s win or go home. Sharks lead the series 3-2, and a win would advance them to their first Stanley Cup Finals (and win the Clarence S Campbell Bowl as Western Conference champions). It’s the Sharks 100th game this season (regular and post).
The Blues have announced that Elliott will be back in net for game 6.
Sharks need to show their killer instinct and take the Blues out. Just worry about this game. (Add all the cliches needed.)
It’s time to #SilenceTheBlues for this season. Game 6.
Series tied 2-2. Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their team.
Game 4 postgame notes
This post season, the Sharks have bounced back after a horrendous game (i.e., PDSF game 4->5; PDF game 6->7), so the Sharks have it in them to make game 5 a win. The only Sharks forward who did not have a shot on goal last game was Marleau.
About 80% of teams who win game 5 go on to win series. Two more wins needed to clinch series.
Backes and Fabri are said to be “game time decisions”; neither participated in morning skate, but sounds like they may go.
Guessing this will be a close game. But Sharks on top.
The Sharks-Blues series is tied 1-1. Sharks will try to take the lead at home.
Game 2 postgame thoughts
The venue changes for two games, now to California.
Some pundits feel the Sharks have outplayed the Blues this series. One key has been the power play.
There is concern for Thornton after taking a slash to the wrist in the third period of game 2, but little information is available; he did participate in morning skate and plans to play. No change on Nieto’s availability for game 3 (upper body), but should be available later in series.
Blues are making some lineup changes, but Hitchcock being vague.
Sharks should come out hard, dominate the game and take the 2-1 lead.
Let’s Go Sharks! #SilenceTheBlues
Well, that first game did not end the way Shark fans would like.
Game 1 news/links
A few bad bounces, some bad officiating and here we are. Sharks were victims of an early whistle on what could have been the tying goal, a missed match penalty, lost puck, etc.
The Blues were able to contain the Sharks top lines and power play. And Jones let in a goal that he’d probably like to not have given up.
The Sharks stayed off the ice on Monday instead, facing the media. Players know they did not play their best game, so promise to play better. Complaints about the officiating, complaints about the complaints. Opponent coach “suggestions” as to where to slot players.
Now, get away from the hype, to see the guys play the game on the ice to see what is decided in game 2.
You know the Sharks will come out with MORE. Including attention to detail and determination.
And away we go.
Series opens Sunday evening. Sharks are opening the Tank (free tickets required – sold out) for away game 1 viewing, and distributing to the first 500 fans a Jo Pawvelski rally towel.
Most pundits are predicting a hard fought series. Game 1 should be the “feeling out” game. But I expect both teams to be physical and pushing to the edge (of penalties) to test the mettle of their opponent.
In the season series, the road team prevailed, so the Sharks should hope to rekindle their road prowess to start the series.
- AP preview
- NY Times Pollak (retired SJMN beat writer): Retooled Sharks move on, away from past failures
- SI: More on Brent Burns, the most interesting man in the NHL
- SI Linda Cohn: Sharks can go all the way
Recorded in the middle of the Predators series
- NBC: DeBoer – fatigue not a factor
- Puck Daddy series preview
- Puck Daddy game preview
- CBC: What you need to know
- ESPN: W2W4 – WCF Game 1
- USA Today: Con Smythe contenders
- SJMN preview
- SJMN: series matchup
- SJMN: Jo Pawvelski finds new home
- SJMN WTC: Blues PP working well, Sharks need to stay disciplined
- SJMN WTC: Nieto improves; Dillon, Wingels excited for conference finals
- Gackle: Sharks depth will be the story of WCF
- Chron preview
- Chron: Sharks looking for something special against Blues
- SLPD: Blues focus on the simple
- SLPD: Sharks, Blues have a lot in common
- SLPD: 5 things to watch
- SLPD: Blues and fans have paid their dues
- SLPD: Blues locked in on Cup quest
- SLPD: Blues have home ice advantage (on paper)
Hitchcock: “I think from our standpoint, we’ve done a reasonably good job at keeping the puck away from key players. But if you think you’re just going to go out and check good players and negate them, that’s a big mistake … because they’re patient and they’re competitive and they’ll wait for their opportunities. San Jose is a little bit different, in that, they have chemistry that is so automatic because they’ve been together for so long that a little mistake can end up being a big mistake. So it’s a little bit different than the other lines that we’ve played against because they do things five on five and on the power play that seem unorthodox, but they know each other so well, they find each other. We’re trying to just not give them the puck as much and hopefully we get a chance to hang onto it.”
Sharks and Blues will be facing each other for the fifth time in the playoffs. (Each team has won two series.) This is the first conference finals meeting.
Twitter list of Blues-centric members
Guarantee: one of these teams will be in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Blues haven’t been in the Finals since 1970. The Sharks have never been.
Sharks forwards average 28.6 years old; Blues 27.2. Sharks defense averages 28.4 years old vs Blues at 26.5. So, the Sharks have the experience, by 1.5-2 years.
Sharks have the slightly (3/100s of inch) taller, but lighter (2+ pounds) forwards, but the shorter (1/2 inch) and heavier (~10 pounds) defensemen, than the Blues.
Sharks were 2-1-0 against the Blues this season.
(Regular season stats…) Blues averaged three more hits/game, but two fewer blocked shots/game. Blues had less than half the giveaways that the Sharks had. Sharks averaged 1:39 less in PIMS/game than Blues. Sharks scored 18 more goals in the season than the Blues, but gave up 10 more. Sharks have the better power play (about 1%), and drew more power play opportunities. Sharks had 63:39 power play time differential compared to the Blues 89:10 more PK time than PP.
Of course, regular season stats mean little in the post season. The Sharks have lead the league in playoff power play effectiveness (30.9%; highest among remaining playoff teams). So, the Blues need to be disciplined, or the Sharks can take advantage. The Sharks have been the more offensive team (3.42/game vs 3.14/game) and better defensively (2.33/game GA vs 2.43 GA/game).
So, how will games play out? On the physical side, definitely. But the Sharks seem to have the offensive and defensive advantage. But that’s all on paper. You have to play the games.
Of the teams remaining, the Sharks have traveled the most in the postseason (and this year, the most in regular season). But the series will be fairly equal travelwise, once things get going. Sharks may have the advantage based on their research and work with Stanford sleep center to counteract jet lag, etc., as they do so much traveling; the Blues may not be as prepared.
Another wrinkle… The NHL has an agreement with Showtime for a weekly summary show. Debut (first week) is May 20. So, the guys will be having cameras hanging around as they practice, prepare, and play.
Prediction: Sharks in 6