Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sharks Series Preview...

That was quite the series. I never expected it to go to seven games. I learned a lot during that series. I had always had a healthy respect for Shane Doan right up until he started running guys left and right. I also learned a bit about karma. The Wings hopefully learned a lesson or two about full game efforts. We all learned that life’s a little better when you have a commune support group to fall back on.

But that’s all in the past now.

The Wings are off to fine San Jose, where they’re already being welcomed with open arms. This is quite the quick turnaround, much to the relief of my poor puppy. Last season, during the long layoff between the first and second rounds, I was so bored that I decided to give her a haircut. Let’s just say that there’s a reason I’m not a professional dog groomer. I really believe that if I had had the proper tools at my disposal, it would’ve looked a lot better.

Everyone knows San Jose as the perennial playoff chokers and the team with no heart. You know what I’d like? I’d like to see the Wings cement that reputation for the Sharks. Let them have their fancy Western Conference championship banner. Good luck drinking champaign out of that.

There’s no doubt that San Jose is more talented all around than the Coyotes were, but Phoenix played with drive and grit that we’re not used to seeing from the Sharks in the post-season. They cranked things up toward the end of their series against Colorado, and really seemed to be clicking. A Sharks team in full-stride should make anyone nervous.

None of that matters, though. The Wings are going to determine who wins this series. I will maintain that this Wings team, when playing in full flight (see: Game Seven), cannot be beaten by any team in the NHL in a best of seven series until the day that I die. It’s up to them whether they make a fourth straight trip to the Conference Finals or get some extra time off this summer. With any luck, we'll get treated to an encore of this performance at the end of the series.

Guy to Grudgingly Respect: Evgeni Nabokov
I almost put Dany Heatley here just for laughs. I decided that it probably wouldn’t seem as funny in the morning, though. Instead, I went with Nabokov because a) Goalies always terrify me and b) He has the ability to steal a game when he gets in a groove.

Guy to Fear: Joe Pavelski
He’s been the one getting stuff done for San Jose so far during the playoffs. He looks like a prime candidate to have a Henrik-Zetterberg-shaped blanket draped all over him this series.

Guy I’m Probably Going to Laugh at a Lot: Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Vlasic pickles. It gets me every time.

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