Stanley Cup Final Preview: Sharks and Penguins

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

In their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, the San Jose Sharks are in a good position to win, and so are the Pittsburgh Penguins. Not surprisingly, the two teams accumulated were very similar numbers on their way to the Final. Perhaps those are just the kind of numbers winners needed this year. Perhaps they are as irrelevant as statistics from the regular season. The Sharks and the Penguins could play each other four times or seven times, and it won’t add up to the number of games they played getting here. Games, and by association the series, can still be won or lost on a bounce. Either team could have trouble adjusting to a new sort of opponent, a heretofore unseen weakness could be exposed. This is why they play the games, because the NHL can’t award the championship based on past performance. Still, the likeness is uncanny. (more…)

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Sharks Win Western Conference Final 4-2

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

SAN JOSE– The San Jose Sharks punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday, by defeating the St. Louis Blues 5-2 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final. The 4-2 series win represents the first time the Sharks have prevailed in a conference final, the first time they will compete for the Cup. (more…)

Blues Turn Tables On Sharks, Tie Series With 6-3 Win

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

SAN JOSE-Saturday’s Game 4 of the NHL’s Western Conference Finals was a complete reversal of Thursday’s 4-0 victory for San Jose. The St. Louis Blues tied the series 2-2 with a 6-3 victory, beating the San Jose Sharks in all three zones. The Blues’ power play went 2-4 while the Sharks’ power play went 0-4. Troy Brouwer and Kyle Brodziak each scored two goals for the Blues, with Jori Lehtera and Alex Pientrangelo adding to the tally. For the Sharks, Joe Pavelski, Chris Tierney and Melker Karlsson scored. (more…)

Sharks Shut Out Blues Again, Take 2-1 Series Lead

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

SAN JOSE– The San Jose Sharks took a 2-1 series lead over the St. Louis Blues with a 3-0 victory in San Jose. It was the first time that the Sharks had two consecutive shutouts in the playoffs, and the first time in a Conference Final. Though the Sharks looked unsteady in the first few minutes of the game, they made the most of their chances and limited the Blues to not very good ones. (more…)

Sharks and Blues: Western Conference Final Preview

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

The Western Conference Final is upon us. Past results reveal that the San Jose Sharks and the St. Louis Blues have followed very similar paths to this point, and neither team is a clear choice for favorite. Even intangibles cannot give us a hint. Both San Jose and St. Louis are hungry for success. The Sharks have never made it to the Stanley Cup Final, and the Blues have not been there since 1970. They both unseated recent Cup winners in the first round. They both defeated up and coming teams in the second round, by the a five goal margin, in the seventh game. The likeness is uncanny, and utterly proper. The final teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs should be equals, it is only right that the results be entirely unpredictable. The results of the Stanley Cup Final could be easier to predict, especially with the Eastern teams taking such heavy casualties after just one game. I predict that the Western team will win the Cup, and that team will be from a city named after a saint. (more…)

Sharks Thump Preds 5-1

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

SAN JOSE–The San Jose Sharks roundly defeated the Nashville Predators by a score of 5-1 on Saturday. Most of the games in this series, including the triple overtime Game 4, have been much closer than that. On Saturday, it certainly seemed that the Sharks had no interest in any more overtime. They kept playing right up to the final horn.

Two goals came from Joe Pavelski, one from Melker Karlsson, one from Logan Couture and one from Patrick Marleau. Joonas Donskoi and Justin Braun each had two assists and Maetin Jones made 24 saves on 25 shots. The lone Nashville goal was scored by Mike Fisher, while Pekka Rinne made 23 saves on 27 shots. (more…)

Sharks Hang On To Beat Predators 3-2, Take 2-0 Series Lead

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

SAN JOSE–The San Jose Sharks took a 2-0 series lead with a 3-2 victory against the Nashville Predators. Four of the goals were scored in the second half of the third, three of those in the final three minutes. It was not the Sharks’ best game, defensively or offensively, but it got the job done. After the game, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said as much: (more…)