April 29th, 2010, 11:01 am
Game 1 at the Tank tonight. The city of San Jose doesn’t take kindly to people arriving late to an early 6pm start, so I hope the Red Wings plan it better than their Tuesday night arrival. Here’s the Dudes thoughts on the four conference semis. Chime in with your predictions as well.
Montreal (8) vs. Pittsburgh (4)
Doug: The buck has to stop somewhere and it would be mission impossible for the Canadiens to knock off both the Eastern Conference titans, right? Pittsburgh has the experience, talent and heart to overcome a little Jacques Martin mojo. Penguins in five.
Mike: Pittsburgh got a huge gift in the 6-8 seeds winning, and them not going to the Stanley Cup Finals for the third straight year would be a choke job on their part. Pens in six, and it only goes that long because Josh Gorges PWNS.
Philadelphia (7) vs. Boston (6)
Doug: This series might have more grinding than a weekend with Wilt Chamberlin. It has the potential to be the most entertaining, if you like old school, blood and teeth cocktail hockey. I’ll be watching and as usual, Chris Pronger will still be standing at the end. Flyers in seven.
Mike: Marc Savard is back, and this emotional high will last until he skates through the middle with his head down (or up) and Pronger sticks him in the nuts. Then cross-checks him in the head. Then stomps on him. Flyers in six.
Vancouver (3) vs. Chicago (2)
Doug: The dislike between these two teams is delicious. The Hawks were criticized in Round 1 for not playing with much heart, but they showed me a lot at the end of Game 5 when they refused to go down. I would love to pick Vancouver, but when have they ever made the Conf. Finals? Not since their Stanley Cup run in 1994 behind Bure and Linden. Hawks in six.
Mike: It’s disappointing to see Doug abandon his prescient observation that Chicago’s goaltending is a ticking time bomb. I now take the reins of that bandwagon. Canucks in seven. Steve Bernier has 27 points in the series.
San Jose (1) vs. Detroit (5)
Doug: The path to glory has been determined and the Sharks are going to have to earn it. If ever there was a year for our boys to oust the mighty Wings, this is their best chance. We have the talent, depth and a goalie who knows he could be looking for a new team if he doesn’t make this happen. Daniel-san kicks Mr. Miyagi in the nuts. Sharks in six.
Mike: Past DOH guests Craig Custance (DOH 94) and Mark Purdy (DOH 88 and 51) have written about this series already. It appears that both have picked the Wings to win, so now I’m questioning my decision to link to the them. No matter. As Custance said, this could change the reputation of the entire franchise. This is the best team the Sharks have ever had in the playoffs, and you can’t say that for the Wings. Sharks in seven.
Tags: Boston Bruins
, Chicago Blackhawks
, Chris Pronger
, Detroit Red Wings
, Josh Gorges
, Montreal Canadians
, Philadelphia Flyers
, Pittsburgh Penguins
, San Jose Sharks
, Steve Bernier
, Vancouver Canucks
December 27th, 2009, 4:44 pm
Beating the Ducks isn’t quite as sweet as it used to be, now that they are at the bottom of the Pacific, and third worst in the West. But given I think the last two wins against Chicago and Dallas were more of the lucky variety, I will certainly digest last night’s win with relish (ok, pun intended). The Sharks beat Jiggy early and often, and staked themselves to a 5-0 lead before they took their foot off of the gas a bit. It would have been nice to have a 5 goal lead going into the third; I admit a trace of doubt crept in when the Ducks scored a goal late in the second- that’s the kind of thing teams can build on.
One reason I thought the Sharks would press for another goal is Marleau had two already. Lots of times I’ve seen a team make utterly ridiculous plays trying to get a guy a hat trick. But last night, I can’t remember a decent hat trick chance. This despite Ryan Getzlaf cutting himself with his own skate and leaving the game. I guess they all try and pitch in when Pronger is gone.
Now that the ship has been officially righted, winning four in a row, the Sharks face this week arguably the toughest opponent in the NHL right now- the Washington Capitals. This after a Monday night game against the resident pain in the ass Phoenix Coyotes. Doug is back in town, so we will be attending and reporting on all the great games in the next seven days, complete with bonus material – a report on the Stockton Thunder game Tuesday night against Bakersfield. I expect some good old fashioned minor league hockey, with die hard fans, cheap tickets, and some knuckle chucking.
Also tune in tonight to ChompTalk on KDOW 1220AM (or stream it) at 9pm- Chetan and I will be talking to the radio voice of the Sharks, Dan Rusanowsky.
November 20th, 2009, 9:34 am
One of the most anticipated match-ups of the year for me, the Philadelphia Flyers are in town (7pm start, not 7:30). This will be Chris Pronger’s (booo!) first visit to the Tank since he was traded to the Flyers in the offseason. As has been well-documented on the podcast, both Doug and I have put money down on the Flyers to win the Stanley Cup this year. For those who might be sneering at us right now- c’mon, we got 12-1! That’s just a solid bet.
The Flyers have been built to strike fear in the hearts of their opponents. In addition to the aforementioned Pronger (booo!) the Flyers have Dan Carcillo, Riley Cote, Ian Laperriere (who we thought would be a good fit for the Sharks) and Scott Hartnell to provide some rough stuff. Although I’m not sure throwing your glove at somebody counts as “rough stuff”. Despite that impressive list of pugilists, it’s Mike Richards who has more penalty minutes than all of the above save Laperriere, and it’s Richards that put David Booth to sleep with one of the most crushing (and controversial) hits of the year. I’ll leave that debate for another day.
It also bears mentioning where Philly sits now versus where they sat on October 25, the day that Thomas Greiss got his first start, and led the Sharks to an impressive 4-1 win at the Wachovia Center. At that time, the Flyers were 5-2-1, good but not fearsome. Now, they are at 12-5-1, and have won 8 of their last 9 games. Some of those games weren’t against exactly the cream of the NHL crop (Tampa, Ottawa, Carolina), but the last two wins have been the most impressive- at home versus the Devils (handing New Jersey their first road loss of the season) and two nights ago against the Kings, our old pal Brian Boucher weathering the storm.
Tonight we will have Nabby between the pipes facing a mostly healthy Flyers squad, minus the ever-shelved Simon Gagne. Like the Sharks, there aren’t a lot of weaknesses to the Flyers. They do commit a ton of penalties; they have four more minor penalties than the Sharks in five fewer games. Can’t say I’m surprised by that, but they do have the 8th-best penalty kill in the league, plenty good enough to allow for some extra goonery. They also sport the best power play at the moment, which means the Sharks, who are 16th in the league in PIMs/game (Philly is 25th) need to stay the hell out of the box.
Interestingly enough, the fourth line may be the difference for the Sharks. If Ferriero, Couture, and McLaren McGinn are recalled as expected, this could be a real speed mismatch, going up against Blair Betts and Riley Cote. Can’t wait for this game. And no, I won’t be wearing the Carle jersey. I do like Fear the Fin’s prediction for the game though: “Sharks win 17-1. Goals by Heatley, McGinn, Clowe, and a whole bunch of others. Matt Carle’s league-leading +/- drops like a stone. ” Won’t be betting on that outcome, but a good call nonetheless.