Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Game On: Sharks vs. Red Wings Series Preview

So the San Jose Sharks get the series no one wanted to happen. The Sharks will play the Red Wings in the Conference Semifinals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with Game 1 starting on Thursday at The Tank.

These two teams have met numerous times before in the postseason, but no one need mention what the Sharks record is in Conference semifinals or even how the Red Wings have faired against the San Jose Sharks in previous seasons.

This series has a different feel to it. The only stat lines that need to be mentioned are the ones pertaining to this season. The Sharks have the #1 seed in the Western Conference, the Red Wings have the #5 seed, the Sharks are playing some of their best hockey of the year, and so are the Red Wings. Game on.

Make no mistake, the Detroit Red Wings are only the #5 seed in the West because of injuries to their premiere players. This is a top 3 team in the West, maybe the best. We got to see that when they were healthy down the stretch, going 16-3-2 after the Olympic break.

Off the top of my head, I see at least one advantage for the Sharks. Jimmy Howard is a rookie goalie. The bad news: he is a finalist for Rookie of the Year.

The Red Wings are skilled defensively and have the players to score anytime they want. If the Sharks are to succeed, they will need help from not just the Joe Pavelski Line, as we have come to know it, but the 1st line as well. After all, they are the Canadian top line. If the 1st line has a series like they had against the Avalanche, granted they were hit with injury... but I dont't even want to think about it.

The main thing is that Evgeni Nabokov needs to continue to stop everything in sight, and the Sharks need to play with the same high energy that we saw in the last several games of the 1st Round. If they can limit their mistakes as well, that would be most beneficial, as the Red Wings are patient and take full advantage of the opposing team's mistakes.

In most people's minds, the Sharks are the underdogs. This could work in the Sharks' favor, or maybe it won't. But the Sharks have not faired well these last couple of seasons being the favorite, so maybe a change of rank will help.

The Sharks went 0-3-1 againgst the Red Wings this season, but that means nothing now. This is the 2nd season where everything gets turned around. Where #8 seeds can actually have a legitimate chance at beating the #1 seed, both in the West and the East. The Sharks main concern, first and foremost, win Game 1.

No comments:

Post a Comment