Despite the lack of scoring there's a lot to talk about in this series. Darryl Sutter has been adjusting lines masterfully, Logan Couture's comeback in game three, and the great play of Antti Niemi and Jonathan Quick are only a few of the subplots in this exciting series.
But with the Sharks facing elimination tonight the power play is the top priority. Los Angeles and San Jose have had incosinstent power play success often determining the outcome of games this series. Before dissecting the power play rates in this series let's take a look at each teams power play and penalty kill percentages throughout the playoffs.
Through three games the Kings/Sharks Western Conference Semifinal has been nothing short of fantastic. Entering the series was the Stanley Cup defending champions who disposed of the St. Louis Blues in six games despite falling behind 2-0; the Sharks entered red hot as a team drenched with momentum after easily sweeping the Canucks 4-0.
The two Californian teams play rough styles of hockey that aren't always pretty but are effective for playoff hockey. The Kings won the first two games in different fashion, the first behind the perfect play of Jonathan Quick who shut out the Sharks facing 35 shots and secondly behind some late game heroics in a spectacular comeback win.
The Flames welcome the Sharks to the Dome for the first time, for their second match-up of the season. They two combatants opened the season against each other as the Sharks defeated the Flames by the score of 4-1. The story for tonight’s game is the return of Miikka Kiprusoff, who will get his first start since going down with a knee injury on February 5th.
There is nothing quite as good as a Friday night fish fry. There is a plethora of ways of cooking fish. You can bake, stir fry, poach, grill, steam and blacken fish into a delicious feast in which one can devour until fully satiated. The Blackhawks did just that Friday when they completely dominated the Sharks.
This game was not even as close as the score would indicate. The Blackhawks came out on fire with purpose and on a mission. If any game exemplified their mantra of one goal so far it has been this one.
The Hawks continued their undefeated in regulation streak which is now at 14 games. Two more games as they will tie a leag...
Finally! After a long 82 game schedule the Blues can really get down to business. Champions are not made in the regular season, but are made through the playoffs. This time around, this St. Louis Blues team could make a strong run. They have the home ice set for at least the first two rounds, and looking at their record at home they could not ask for anything better coming into their first playoff game against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.
But is home ice enough for these youthful Blues to take down a perennial Western Conference powerhouse in the Sharks? This preview should be able to sort all those questions out and more.
It's still uncertain whether the San Jose Sharks have shed their reputation of being chokers. They made the conference finals the last two seasons, but lost pretty badly both times. Considering every year lately seems to be "their year", even the conference finals seems like it's not enough. But this year is different. They haven't exactly been dominating the west as they usually do, in fact they barely squeaked into the playoffs. But the pressure is still there even if it might not seem like it, and people's jobs will more than likely be on the line if they "choke" yet again.&...
Detroit rounds up their road trip tonight, facing the San Jose Sharks at 10:30PM. Their last ten games have been quite rough, standing 3-6-1. San Jose is not all that much better at 3-4-3. Who will be able to come out on top in this last regular season meeting?
The Wings beat the Sharks in their last meeting on February 19th, where the Wings won their 23rd consecutive home game. However, the Sharks won two of the three meetings this season. The Wings have one major advantage. Two words: Pavel Datsyuk. That’s right, Datsyuk has announced his return to the ice for the game tonight and I could not be more thrilled. The injury stricken team has been suffering without him.
Many were immediately calling for the removal of head coach Jack Capuano at the start of the season once the New York Islanders' record began to slip from 3-1 to way below .500. However, there were some, like myself, who argued that it was premature to blame the coaching staff for the poor start due to the fact that the roster from last season hadn't changed much and for the other simple fact - the season was still young. (Photo Credit: Robert Kowal/Flickr)
Since then, the Islanders have managed to be a consistent below .500 team for the year. They have come close on a few occasions from jumping over the hurdle but would then find a way to take two steps back after taking one step forward. This past week has been the most disheartening of the year for Isles fans in relation to how the team has continued to perform. Not only have they lost games, but they have done it with such depression that even the U.S. economy cringed.
Three of the last eight games saw the Islanders either blow a three-goal lead or lose the game in the final few minutes of the third period. It started when the Islanders went into the second period against the Washington Capitals with a 2-0 lead on February 28th. The Caps would score two goals in the final three minutes of the game and then go on to have Alexander Ovechkin score the early game winning goal in the extra frame. The Islanders also had a 1-0 lead against the New Jersey Devils just this past Saturday, only to see their opponent score two goals just 14 seconds apart in the final two minutes of the hockey game. And most recently, the Islanders blew a 4-1 lead last night against the Caps to lose 5-4 in the shootout.