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22 April 2007

Unleashing the fury...a look at San Jose vs. Nashville

-I tried to watch Dallas-Vancouver after a not-so-hot crushing of Calgary by Detroit, and the crappy commentating didn't help, but I just couldn't...and ended up falling asleep in the second period and wake up when there were 10 minutes to go.

The game was low-scoring, and unless there's frantic end-to-end action or your favourite team is in it, they're usually boring to hell.

Marty Turco looks like a new goalie, the one that shook off his disgusting career playoff stats by posting 3 shutouts in the first round alone, I wonder if he's looking to make a run at the 9 shutout record set by Brodeur a few years back? That is, if the Stars make it that far.
For the first time in these playoffs...THERE WILL BE A GAME 7!

I mean, it's about time already, Ottawa took care of the Pens in 5, San Jose dumped Nasville in 5, the Sabres dumped the Isles in 5 too, heck, so did the Ducks when they beat the Wild in 5!
(Speaking of the Pens, check out what they're doing now)

The only series that can potentially have a Game 7 are...the Devils vs. Tampa series (3-2 Devils), duh, Vancouver vs. Dallas (3-3 tie), Calgary vs. Detroit (3-2 Detroit), and that's it!

-SAY WHAT?! Crosby played with a broken foot through mid-March?
And that's why he won't play for Team Canada at the WC?
Of course, now the media will make such a big buzz (and fans too), on how the Pens could've beat the Sens if Crosby were 100%.
And what makes this even better, is that Crosby believes he broke it while blocking a shot against...guess who? Montreal!
You can tell I don't like the guy.

-Sad news from Tampa, according to Ice Chips, 38-year old captain Tim Taylor has a degenerative hip condition and it might end his career.

-Tough guy Colton Orr (2-years $1.75 million), and dancer Ryan Hollweg (2 years $1.25 million) each got contract extensions from the Rangers.

With the Preds out, I guess it'd be nice if I bid them adieu...

San Jose Sharks

The Hero: Patrick Marleau
Marleau portrayed the same finesse he had in the regular season by potting 3 goals, 1 game winner and adding 3 assists.

The Zero: Marcel Goc
1 assist in 5 games in pathetic for Goc.
And Mark Bell's a healthy scratch? Pffft.

The Unsung Saviour: Craig Rivet
Acquired at the deadline from the Canadiens, Rivet's been a leader on defence for Ron Wilson's squad, and surprisingly, on offence as well.
The veteran defenceman had only career 1 playoff goal in 11 seasons heading into the series, he's doubled his career high with 2, and is second only to Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton with 5 points.
He's a strong presence in the dressing room, and I can't stop reading about how Sharks fans all love him.

The Sniper: Milan Michalek
Craig Rivet didn't know who Milan Michalek was, once he arrived in California.
He sure knows now.
The young forward is an offensive machine, and has scored 4 times already this series.

The X-Factor: Joe Thornton
Isn't it obvious?
The Sharks need Joe Thornton, if they expect to win the Stanley Cup.
Marleau and Cheechoo can't do it by themselves, they'll need last season's Hart winner to help them.
Thornton, who had for the second time in the past two seasons, more than 90 assists.
He has 6 so far in 6 games.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Evgeni Nabokov, Jonathan Cheechoo

The Comebacker: Craig Rivet
Well, I can't really find anyone else except him, he went from pneumonia in Montreal, to 2nd scorer in San Jose.

The Minute Men: Craig Rivet and Marc-Edouard Vlasic
How many times has Rivet's name come up? (I thinks it's going to be 5)
Anyhow, the young Vlasic (who has just come off a season in junior) is playing with an 11-year veteran, and it's turned out to be a good combination for San Jose.
Both are upwards of 23 minutes per game, with Rivet getting 26.

Interesting: Marc Bell and Joe Pavelski
Not enough room on the team for both, Pavelski's going in and Bell should get used to the press-box.

Nashville Predators

The Hero: J.P. Dumont
After a decent regular season, the former Sabre scored 4 times and added 2 assists for 6 points in a losing cause.
He also led the team in +/- with a +4 rating. Dumont also did not take a penalty.

The Zero: Paul Kariya
Dissapointed big-time.
Karyia had 2 assists and was a team worst -4.
He should've stepped his game up, instead, he stepped down.

The Unsung Saviour: Alexander Radulov
You could argue that the hit-from-behind on Steve Bernier in Game 2 was the turning point of the series, even if the Preds won, Radulov had 3 goals in the first 2 games and was looking like a God.
After a 1-game suspension, he came back and did nothing.

The Sniper: JP. Dumont
He scored 4 times on 8 shots, how better can you get?
Oh yeah? Score me 4 goals on 8 shots in the NHL and we'll talk.

The X-Factor: Peter Forsberg
Acquired from the Flyers, Forsberg's transition back to the Western Conference was slow and very frustrating.
He did not have a good stint with Nashville in the regular season, but, he was once the best player in the world, and the Preds believed he can do it again and help them in the playoffs.
He did have 4 points in the playoffs, which was acceptable for most Preds fans, but you could feel that the "ripped" arrow is beginning to point at David Poile after giving up Scottie Upshall, Ryan Parent and a 2nd rounder for him.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Tomas Vokoun, Steve Sullivan

The Comebacker: JP Dumont
It's the second time in two teams that a name has appeared 3 times, Craig Rivet for San Jose and now Dumont again for Nasvhille.
His regular season was good, but his playoff performance was even better.
4 goals, 2 assists, 6 points in 5 games and a +4 rating.

The Minute Men: Kimmo Timonen and Ryan Suter.
Another youngster playing with a veteran, they got nearly 24 minutes of ice-time and were solid game-in and game-out for Nashville.
And "solid" is not pushing it, the pair combined for an EVEN rating.

Interesting: Ramzi Abid, Darcy Hardichuk and Jerred Smithson
The trio (Abid and Hardichuk played in 2 games, Smithson in all 5.) combined for a total of 0 shots on goal in 15 minutes of total ice-time.
I mean, come on, you are enforcers, but not even 1 shot on goal?
If Tootoo can get 3, than so can you.

1 fanatics have replied:

Matthew Macaskill said...

I remember hearing that bit about Rivet and Michalek...

Rivet was watching Michalek in practice and asked Bill Guering "Is he really that good, or is he just having a good day?"

Go Sharks! :D

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