2011 NHL Playoff Update Tomorrow…

Just wanted to invite you to my take on the First Round of the playoffs tomorrow. We’ll compare the results with my predictions, and laugh at my ignorance as well as at my prescience.

Tonight, the Boston-Montreal and the Pittsburgh-Tampa Bay series conclude with a Game 7. I did not see this coming…

I watched the Sharks-Kings series and was relieved to see the OT goal by Joe Thornton: justice was served. Jumbo Joe was nailed in the face by a high stick (missed or not-called by the officials?) in the first period, then got his stick lifted by a Kings player in third period: and it knocked out the tooth of a second Kings player. Four-minute penalty. Fortunately, the Sharks killed that off.

Then, McGinn’s “charging” penalty plus a major misconduct that overlapped into overtime made me cringe. OK: bad timing for the hit: but the replay- even at true speed- made me think: wha…? Bad call.

Just as unpredictable was Thornton’s goal: virtual empty netter. And the Sharks move on! My new home-town team goes golfing.

The Western Conference is settled: The Sharks will host the Detroit Red Wings to begin the Second Round; Vancouver will host Nashville. The Eastern Conference will be settled tonight.

Check back manaña…Go Sharks!

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OT Win for Sharks; Strange Officiating (already?)

The Sharks won last night against the Kings, 3-2, in overtime on a Joe “the Big” Pavelski laser-beam of a shot. It was great to see the Sharks remain strong and stay in the game emotionally, even though the highlights of this game are more about what took place in the first period.

Jarret Stoll boarded Ian White, and if you see the replay,… Continue reading

My Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions

The Playoffs begin tonight.

Make no mistake about my predictions: I will be wrong somewhere. This much I can predict: a goalie that none of us have cared about, let alone known his name, will get hot, and that team will score often enough to get to the Conference Finals, if not the Stanley Cup Finals, and most improbably, win the Cup outright. Think of Jean-Sebastian Giguerre when he was with the (then) Anaheim Mighty Ducks, or last season: Jaroslav Halak when Montreal rode his back all the way into the finals. They just needed some shooters who could hit the net… Continue reading

Kyle Clifford vs. Douglas Murray

We’ve got a ton of painters and roofers over here, so it’s time to update some of the latest pugilist action from the rink…

With the Sharks and Kings set to square off tomorrow night in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, this fight from last week would be a good one to see. It’s likely to be revisited in the first or second period in Thursday night’s game.

Douglas Murray probably would sink in a pool: the dude has no body fat, he’s all muscle. Clifford tries to get leverage on him early on, and it’s a joke: then Murray tags him big time.

(HT: HockeyFights.com)

Teemu Selanne (!) vs. Brad Richardson

First fighting major for the Finnish Flash: Selanne is 40 years old. You only get to see the end of the fight, but it’s clear from the announcers that they went at it for about a minute; Selanne takes one but retaliates before the linesman steps in.

Most of the video is of Brookbank and Clifford; initially, Clifford gets a few in, but stick with it: Brookbank absolutely unloads on Clifford, and drops him. To his credit, Brookbank gets up, but he’s hurt.

The video switches to Selanne and Richardson, and if you’re fast, you see Selanne drop a hard on the head of Richardson- it’s at a distance, and might be off some. Richardson really comes back hard before the fight concludes.

Awesome Teemu! You da man!

(HT: Hockeyfights.com)

Sharks Face Kings in Opening Round of Stanley Cup Playoffs

Because Chicago lost to Detroit this afternoon, the Sharks will face the Los Angeles Kings in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Below is the head-to-head match-up during the season (from Working the Corners blog):

The Sharks were 3-1-2 against the Kings this season, losing twice in shootouts that will not be a factor in the playoffs. Here are the results of each game:

Nov. 15, 2010 — Sharks 6, Los Angeles 3 at HP Pavilion

Dec. 27, 2010 — Los Angeles 4, San Jose 0 at HP Pavilion

Jan. 1, 2011 — Sharks 1, Los Angeles 0 at Staples Center

Jan. 26, 2011 — Los Angeles 3, Sharks 2 (shootout) at Staples Center

March 24, 2011 — Los Angeles 4, Sharks 3 (shootout) at Staples Center

April 4, 2011 — Sharks 6, Los Angeles 1 at HP Pavilion

(HT: David Pollak)