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.&...
Heading into one of the better weeks in sports as the NHL regular season winds down and playoff spots are finalized, I thought I would give some thoughts on the season and things I look forward to heading into the playoffs.
It may be difficult for some fans to acknowledge but Detroit is faltering in the late stages of the season and are looking less and less like a true playoff contender. Detroit is 2-6-2 in its last 10 games and has not regained its form since the return of Lidstrom, Datsyuk, Franzen and Howard.
The Nashville Predators beat Detroit easily 4-1 Friday night thanks to the strong play of Pekka Rinne and production from their recent additions. The Red Wings quickly lost their outside chance to catch the St. Louis Blues and take the Central Division title for themselves and are now one point behind Nashville and tied with Chicago, however the Wings do have a game in hand. Detroit is 2-3 aga...
The injuries keep piling up for the Red Wings. Centerman Pavel Datsyuk has returned but now speedster center Darren Helm is out 4-6 weeks with a MCL sprain in his left knee. The injury occurred against San Jose when Helm attempted to land an awkward hit on Sharks forward Dominic Moore.
Gustav Nqyuist has already been recalled from Grand Rapids to take his spot and may be staying with the team for the forseeable future now. Helm will miss the remainder of the season and most likely the entire first round of the playoffs as well. Look for Justin Abdelkader to take his spot as the pivot on the third line.
It was another frustrating loss as the Wings fell in OT to a goal from Martin Havlat.
The Wings can at least look forward to the fact that they were able to get a point for making it into OT. They still sit at fourth in the West, only two points ahead of Nashville.
The first period was the most active, as Joe Pavelski scored the first goal of the night with less than a minute into the period. Martin Havlat followed suit near the end of the period to give San Jose a two-goal lead.
The Wings were not out of it yet. In his first game back since having knee surgery, Pavel Datsyuk scored shortly after Havlat, to cut the Sharks' lead down to one.
Some of the Flames best play has come against the Sharks this season and they will look to continue that as they host the Sharks in the fourth and final meeting of the season. The Sharks hold a 2-1 series lead but every game has been decided by one goal with two games needing extra time. The Flames have had a great month of March so far with a 4-1-1 record and even with all the injuries up front, have found their groove offensively, averaging 4.5 goals per game this month. The Sharks on the other hand recorded their first victory in 6 games last night, defeating the Oilers in Edmonton, 3-2. The Flames have done a good job this month taking advantage of struggling teams as they hope to catch the Sharks on the wrong foot tonight.
Yes, the Washington Capitals lost a hockey game tonight. And yes, they did lose a hockey game 5-3, to a good team who is clearly far superior in the San Jose Sharks. And yes, they were playing the second of back-to-back games after playing in New York on Sunday, but so were the Sharks.
The Caps fell behind 3-0 and then 5-1 before late goals from defenseman Roman Hamrlik and the oft-scratched Jeff Shultz gave the Caps hope at a miracle at 5-3 with six minutes remaining.
Washington peppered Sharks goalie Thomas Greiss with 42 shots, but the German keeper stopped 39 shots to outduel Brayden Holtby in net for the Caps, who gave up the games first goal on a red line blast...
We are now past the midway point of this nine game road trip. Thank goodness for that. The Hawks are now 0-4-1 so far on the nine game road trip and keep losing ground in their division as every team in front of them picks up points. Detroit picked up two points against Anaheim last night.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. I found myself watching this game with my lucky Seabrook jersey and my lucky Hawks charm near me. The results however were the same. The truth of it is no matter how we want to help this team break out of this slump only they can do it.
I knew this would be a tough one for them for several reasons. The loss of Hjalmarsson and Mo...
Tonight, the Chicago Blackhawks are in San Jose, facing off against their former Stanley Cup-winning goaltender, Antti Niemi, and their Western Conference rival, the Sharks.
No matter if Niemi stays with the Sharks or if he goes on to another team, that's how it will always be said. Niemi, after all, helped the Blackhawks win their first Cup in 49 years. Then the Sharks got Niklas Hjalmarsson to sign an offer sheet, and it put the salary-cap-strapped Blackhawks over a barrel in terms of choosing between a young and promising defenseman, and a young and promising goalie; they couldn't keep both without further gutting their roster of players considered core -...