I love how your team has improved from last year. Not just with the aquisitions of Forsberg, Arnott, Dumont, but also with the coming of age of your young Defense and other players like Legwand, Radulov, etc.
The real advantage of having Forsberg is not so much that he'll score a lot of points. Its that he'll pre-occupy Hannan--our best shut-down guy, thus freeing up solid playoff performers like Arnott and Dumont to attack the rest of our blueliners. The Preds will win the series if they take advantage of that.
I believe the goaltending is a wash. Voukoun isn't the same, but so isn't Nabby. We both have solid back-ups if any of them falter.
I don't need to reiterate how evenly matched up we are statiscally, and I rarely use that as an indicator to how a series will play out since the preparation to play an opponent for posibly 7 straight games is different than playing a regular season game. Its about watching the quality of play of recent history. (i.e. post-trade deadline play)
I believe this series will come down to health and I feel the Sharks are coming in as the healthier team and will prevail to the second round. If it weren't for that, I'd be a toss-up--what a perfect 4 vs. 5 series should be.
I'm a Sharks fan, but I actually live in SoCal and had a chance to watch the Preds play the Ducks live in March. I had great corner lower level seat in section 219--where the Ducks attack twice. This gave me an opportunity to watch the Preds D perform.
Even though you guys don't have a name brand player on the blueline (e.g. Pronger, Lidstrom) they performed well despite losing in the shoot-out. Especially, on that night where Forsberg, Arnott, and Legwand were scratches they not only held their own, but provided some offense as well.
I wouldn't call them great just yet, but definitely underrated by fans who don't watch a lot of hockey aside from their favorite team.
I think an underrated part of this playoff series will come down to coaching. The playoffs are about making adjustments to win a series or fixing issues.
Have we seen anything from Trotz to suggest he can win in this department? Last year we took the first game. The Sharks made adjustments and never looked back.
Good point. The other aspect of coaching that will be a factor is coaching the special teams. Our power play MUST improve significantly if we are going to be successful in the playoffs. Our coaching staff hasn't made many good adjustments to the PP, except for switching up personnel. Hopefully having Harts back will give the PP a spark
Exactly. We *should* win this series, being that everything we did in the off-season was to remedy what was exposed in last year's playoffs.
Both teams SHOULD win this series because we are two of the top three teams in the West IMO. The sad part is that which ever team loses that team's season will be considered a failure which is really too bad considering this has two teams that I thought would end up in the WCF.
"I hate books; they only teach us to talk about things we know nothing about."
-Jean Jacques Rousseau
We'll tell ya the line pairings if you let us know how many 5 on 3's are we going to have to kill off this year.
If we try to play that same passive, give them 3 feet, swing your stick and wait for them to make a pass to intercept...it'll be that story all over again. We've got to take the body in our end, strip the puck, and clear it out. No more of this "wring back around the net, lose puck, cycle begins again" trap we fall into.
The only problem I have with the post dissecting the two teams is the roster comparison.
I would say on offense, the Sharks gel better as a team, but you will have a hard time convincing me that we are not at least equal to the talent they are icing.
On defense, it is a clear edge in our favor. Even with the addition of Rivet, the Sharks defense is extremely green. The one thing working in their favor is that the Sharks play a tight collapsing system that minimizes the mistakes they can make.
Vegas is with you. Here are early odds tonight:
Buffalo Sabres 400
Anaheim Ducks 600 Nashville Predators 600
Detroit Red Wings 650
Ottawa Senators 800
New Jersey Devils 950
Vancouver Canucks 1000
Minnesota Wild 1000 San Jose Sharks 1200
Pittsburgh Penguins 1200
Atlanta Thrashers 1600
Calgary Flames 2000
Dallas Stars 2000
Tampa Bay Lightning 2500
New York Rangers 3500
New York Islanders 4500
Wed., April 11 8:00 p.m. at Nashville TSN
Fri., April 13 8:00 p.m. at Nashville TSN
Mon., April 16 10:00 p.m. at San Jose VERSUS, TSN
Wed., April 18 10:00 p.m. at San Jose VERSUS, TSN *Fri., April 20 9:00 p.m. at Nashville VERSUS (JIP), TSN
*Sun., April 22 10:00 p.m. at San Jose VERSUS (JIP), TSN *Tue., April 24 TBD at Nashville VERSUS, TSN
NMK, I added this to your original post. I hope you do not mind .
What do you think the length of Vokoun's rope is before he hangs himself and Mason goes in?
A couple weak goals?
2 Bad games?
So many question marks in goal with so little opportunity to make up for mistakes
2 games of inadaquete performance.
Smokey - I'm not sure what that means for Versus....
As for the Friday game having a different start time, lets remember that we are playing San Jose. Frankly, I'm surprised all of our games aren't an hour later to give the West Coast a more prime time environment.