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Hockeytown0001

Los Angeles vs. San Jose

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Watching Thornton play, I can't believe how soft on the puck a guy that's 6'4" and 230 lbs is. It looks like Hudler could knock him off it.

And people were stunned when Boston gave him up.

Agreed. They've given up 10 goals in 3 games to a team that struggles offensively and is missing their best player.

The first couple goals Niemmi let in last night were absolute garbage. It's hard to believe the Hawks won a Cup with this guy in net. They were fortunate to play a team with equally shoddy goaltending in Boucher and Leighton.

The Sharks announcers love to wave it in the faces of their viewers of how Niemmi won the Cup, without considering other facts of how loaded the roster was for the Hawks (and their production). I'm not a big believer in Niemmi being a huge reason why the Hawks won.

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Neither the Sharks nor the Kings scare me. (I don't have to play them. :)) I would be very interested in meeting the Kings for a change in the playoffs, but if SJ makes it out of this round, so be it.

As a former STH for the Sharks, it's almost shameful how I've dropped them like a bad habit.

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The upside for the Wings is that if they beat the Coyotes and end up playing the Sharks, San Jose looks very beatable. Shaky goaltending, Thornton is once again invisible. Their best players by far are Setoguchi, Couture and Pavelski.

Watching Thornton play, I can't believe how soft on the puck a guy that's 6'4" and 230 lbs is. It looks like Hudler could knock him off it.

Good observations!

The Sharks, after three games, do look beatable. Poor goaltending is not all of it. I'd also attribute the slow start to taking dumb penalties, losing guys on the ice, not blocking shots, and having a HORRID transition game.

If I look at a possible match-up on paper, I would be fine playing your Red Wings. Not worried a bit. BUT, the way SJ has played so far vs. the Kings, I am honestly concerned. But, we need two more W's first. Todd is an awesome coach, and I expect to see progression in the Sharks as this first round series continues.

The other thing to consider...

Our 4th line has sucked so far. In fact they were on the ice for the first two early goals in Game #3 and pretty much got yanked. Ice time (not exact):

-Eager: 1:30

-Mayers: 2:40

-Nichol: 3:10 (he had more time because he's good at face-offs)

One more thing, your list of quality players has Couture, Pavelski and Setoguchi. You MUST add Clowe and Murray. Clowe IS the leader on this team. Two big goals in game #3. Murray has been involved on both sides of the ice and his physical game is going.

People are jumping on Jumbo Joe. From a statistical point of view, he's been pretty "playoff typical." To his credit, his back-checking game has been really good. Another "choker" Marleau has been quietly effective so far.

I'd wait another game or two before you start salivating over the idea of playing SJ. If, they get rolling and Niemi "shows-up" it could be an awesome series!

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Good observations!

The Sharks, after three games, do look beatable. Poor goaltending is not all of it. I'd also attribute the slow start to taking dumb penalties, losing guys on the ice, not blocking shots, and having a HORRID transition game.

If I look at a possible match-up on paper, I would be fine playing your Red Wings. Not worried a bit. BUT, the way SJ has played so far vs. the Kings, I am honestly concerned. But, we need two more W's first. Todd is an awesome coach, and I expect to see progression in the Sharks as this first round series continues.

The other thing to consider...

Our 4th line has sucked so far. In fact they were on the ice for the first two early goals in Game #3 and pretty much got yanked. Ice time (not exact):

-Eager: 1:30

-Mayers: 2:40

-Nichol: 3:10 (he had more time because he's good at face-offs)

One more thing, your list of quality players has Couture, Pavelski and Setoguchi. You MUST add Clowe and Murray. Clowe IS the leader on this team. Two big goals in game #3. Murray has been involved on both sides of the ice and his physical game is going.

People are jumping on Jumbo Joe. From a statistical point of view, he's been pretty "playoff typical." To his credit, his back-checking game has been really good. Another "choker" Marleau has been quietly effective so far.

I'd wait another game or two before you start salivating over the idea of playing SJ. If, they get rolling and Niemi "shows-up" it could be an awesome series!

I'm far from salivating over the idea of playing SJ. Mainly just saying to those Wings fans who haven't watched the Shark-Kings series, the Sharks have some weaknesses for sure.

I'd definitely add Clowe and Murray to that list. I just think Couture, Pavelski and Setoguchi have been unbelievable.

As for Thornton, honestly if in a series against the Wings all I notice is his backchecking and Marleau is quietly effective, I'd be more than happy with that. Because they should be the two guys dominating. I know bashing Thornton has become sport, but for whatever reason I actually like the guy. But at $7.2 mill he's consistently disappointing in the postseason, and should be doing much more than backchecking.

I may regret saying this if the Wings end up playing the Sharks, but in terms of the goalies out there, Niemmi doesn't scare me much. He didn't impress me that much last playoffs, especially in the finals.

One of the things that scares me about the Sharks is how damn fast they are. Our forwards are okay, but the Wings blueline is not particularly quick footed.

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The Sharks and Wings are both shaky in net and the Wings have substantially more depth. I have no worries in beating the Sharks, if they can still even pull out a win against the Kings.

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Wings won't beat Sharks if they have to defend 2 to 4 minutes of full 5-on-3 every game. Also, hate to say this, but Wings should play Sharks game by diving or whipping the head back everytime a player gets their stick up to draw a penalty. Worked for Sharks last year... and Sharks fans can't complain about it because that's how their team wins games.

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I think the Wings can beat any team in the playoffs if they stick to consistency and their game. But I still have nightmares from that San Jose series last year. Pavelski is a beast, Clowe is always dangerous, and they've shown they can win tight OT games.

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I think the Wings can beat any team in the playoffs if they stick to consistency and their game.

That is what I think of the Wings, Sharks, Nucks, Preds, Caps and Pens. Every one of those teams can be terrifyingly formidable against any other team in the NHL... IF they actually show up, play for 60 minutes and consistently stick to their game. In addition to weaknesses which can be exploited, every one of those teams has the proven ability not to show up, not to play for 60 full minutes, to be taken off their game - and to not have the luck factor working in their favor.

The way the LA/SJ series has gone so far, I consider the Sharks very lucky not to be climbing back from a 3-0 deficit to what is arguably, generally speaking, a statistically inferior team. I do think that the Sharks subconsciously underestimated LA (all expressed sentiments to the contrary notwithstanding), and LA's ability to pull out all the stops, NOT underestimate their opponent, and step up their game in a way that clearly took the Sharks off theirs. I'm not worried about that, any more than I would feel overly confident had the Sharks simply mowed the Kings over as so many predicted when their match up was set.

ALL teams are beatable. Every last stinking one of them, regardless of their stats, depth, grit, or whatever. Furthermore, I believe that "underdog" status (not fan sentiment, but true underdog status, as it is actually felt by players on both teams) can be a serious motivator for the proverbial tortoise in the race, and a subconscious under-pacing mechanism (demotivator) for the proverbial hare.

The Sharks have been lucky so far, but I recognize that luck is a factor in every game, every series, and its a knife that cuts in every direction. And it can run in streaks, good or bad. You can "be superior" and outplay a team by nearly every metric and still lose to cruel, blind, bumbling luck, as a dozen good pucks are miraculously stopped, while a few luckies and softies find their way into the back of the net. A team that shows up and stays consistent only cuts down the luck factor, but NO team can eliminate it entirely. I recognize that luck was involved in San Jose's first upset over Detroit in the playoffs so many years ago. Detroit was not only favored, but was clearly the better team at that time. But the balance of luck was in San Jose's favor, just as it could as easily have been seen in the Kings' win column favor in all three of the last games. They don't call them heart-breakers for nothing!

In the end, a team has to win four games per series, and I see that luck can factor heavily into that. That has to be done four times straight to win a Cup, of course, which certainly cuts heavily into luck's role. But it never eliminates luck entirely (as we've seen from so many game 7's of the SCF that could have just as easily gone the other way).

One thing is for sure: the LA/SJ series hasn't just been "wonky", as was stated earlier - it's been quite something to witness, and the last one was one for the books for sure! THAT kind of excitement is what I want and expect out of the playoffs, and what I hope for more than anything, should the Sharks advance to face the Wings. I don't hope that my team shows up and the other doesn't. That's as mindless and stupid as those who (secretly or openly) hope for injuries to the other team. What a cowardly hope that is. Not for me. Hollow out some other victory, for some other team, because that isn't what I want at all. Otherwise, why not just hope that someone shoots tranquilizer darts in the opposing team, so that we can just slaughter them easily and move on? Ooh. Yah. Yeay team.

It is no secret that McClellan patterned the Sharks' game play strategies to match well against the Wings. Specifically. If and when we face the Wings, and I can't wait for that, I want both teams to show up, and for BOTH to stay on their VERY BEST GAME. I want both teams to play for a full 60 minutes, each and every game. In such games, I can't predict the victor, or the outcome of the series, or even what the balance of luck will be, but I could not ask for better than that. That would be hockey at its finest, where even the so-called "luck" will be an exciting part of the game, win or lose.

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Sure, assuming that by 'interesting' you mean different, unexpected, or unlikely - an unlikely series victory for an underdog and its future match with other statistically superior teams is interesting. However, strictly in that same vein, it only continues to be interesting if they then eliminated the Wings and went on to pull two more series upsets to finally win the Cup. And while I would find that interesting, I am quite sure you are not pulling for them to that end. BUT, you have to admit, that would be interesting!

What would not have been so interesting, to me, is if the Kings found a way to advance, only to be easily eliminated in the very next round. Desirable to you, I'm absolutely sure, but not so interesting (and by your criteria). That happens all the time. Run of the mill stuff, in fact, playoff-wise. That's kind of what happened last year, as the Sharks eliminated the Wings, but went on to be defeated by the eventual Stanley Cup champions. I'm sure there had to be a sting in that, and I can also see where that would be not-so-interesting. The fact that a Sharks advance means a repeat Sharks/Wings Semifinals is something I DO find interesting!

It would not have been all that interesting to me if the Coyotes had found a way to eliminate the Wings, which is one of the reasons I did not pull for them. The Coyotes would have been an easier match for the Sharks than the Wings, for sure, but an easier skate to the Cup tends to hollow out the victory, as I alluded before.

I find the old rivalries and battles of the Titans far more interesting, save for one exception, and that is when a true underdog finds a way to go the entire distance, and leaves all the classic Titans in the dust. That leaves me with a quandary, because if the Coyotes had advanced, and then went on to eliminate the Sharks and eventually win the Cup, I would have to find that interesting!

Strange thing for me, as both a Sharks and a Wings fan: I don't want the Kings to beat the Sharks, of course, and I normally wouldn't want them to beat the Wings. If they do beat the Sharks, however, I would still pull for the Wings, but I would find it beyond interesting if they found a way to beat everyone else in their path.

So my question to you, and to clarify what you meant by 'interesting': could you pull for the Kings if they found a way to beat the Sharks and then on to beat the Wings? I could.

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Wings play winner of this series ?

No. We only play Sharks if they win. If Kings win, we'll play either Ducks or Preds... assuming, of course, Nucks beat Chicago.

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clowe scores early in the 2nd... 1-0 sharkies

Demers now scores 2-0

clowe scores again 3-0... peace out kings (hopefully i jinxed them lol)

RICHARDSON scores! 3-1

Edited by HockeytownRules19

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