Canucks win the West: A frustrated Shark's team goes home earlier than anticipated.

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It is damn hard to lose a game when you out-shot your opponent by 22 shots, but the San Jose Sharks did just that last night. The Sharks dominated in almost every category last night with the exception of goals and you could also say bounces and those count more. When leading the game by a goal with the final seconds waining, the Sharks were the victim of a missed call and tipped shot from the point that took away their trip to a game 6. It would ultimately take 2 OT's for the fat lady to finish her song, including a 4th period in which the Sharks provided a flurry of shots that just couldn't break Luongo.

You could argue that the incorrectly called icing took this game away from the Sharks, and then even make a leap to say that the game winning goal could have been whistled dead at the result of a sudden disappearance. In the end, it was SJ's inability to get in front of Luongo and capitalize on their chances that sent them to an early summer break. Oh how they must be feeling this one in San Jose.
The games played in this series were deceiving ones. I could make the argument that the Sharks actually outplayed Vancouver in the last 3 games and that if based solely on play, the Sharks should have a 3-2 lead in the series at this point. In the last 3 games, the Sharks managed to out-hit their opponents, win the bulk of the face-offs in each game and dominate in the shots column 129 to 77. That is a difference of 52 shots in just 3 games incase your math sucks as bad as mine. You could probably look at Niemi for dropping the ball, or to Luongo for providing the key element. I tend to sway towards Luongo's stellar play as that special ingredient, though in the end I feel it was not goaltending that decided the outcome.
The fact of the matter is that a good team pounces on their chances and that they get production from different players on any given night. The Canucks played a game that kept the Sharks from exposing their goaltender to high quality chances and they made the best of every opportunity that came their way. Whether that is on 3 consecutive 5 on 3's or a crazy bounce off a side partition, the gods seem to be favoring the Nucks this year with some luck. Good teams create their own luck.
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Luongo is a great goaltender. He absorbs shots as good as anyone, so when his team doesn't allow too much traffic in front and keeps the shots from the perimeter, he is able to create a stellar performance. His team played to his strengths and weaknesses. Niemi on the other hand was the victim of some very well placed shots and a less than great defense in front of him at times. I wouldn't blame him for the goals that he allowed and his stats paint a distorted view. Simple mistakes and miss-played pucks were more to blame in sending Niemi home for the first time. His perfect record in the playoffs has come to an end and a very talented team moves forward.
Again, I am taken back to the first round. The Hawks are still the team that came closest to ending the Nuck's bright season. You could probably argue that if their hunger was stronger and the team was healthier (specifically Bolland sooner), the Hawks might have had the winning edge. I have to say that Vancouver has shown to be dominant one day and then lack-luster the next. However, they find ways to win in either situations, standing in front of a talented goaltender and that counts big time in this league. 
It is goaltending that is providing the special ingredient for Boston on the other side of the league. Not to discredit Roloson at all, but Thomas is having another special season and playoffs. Both Tampa and Boston are playing spectacular hockey and I fully intend this series to go 7 after a Tampa win tonight. It should be interesting and whoever rises in the end is going to give Vancouver their toughest series this year. My money is on Boston, but I would not mind seeing Tampa either.

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  • Well,it certainly has bounced Vancouver's way this year, much to my dismay. I almost can't wait for this to end, especially if they win the cup this year.

    How dumb was that paper shower at the end of the game? Too much BC pot floating around up here, me thinks. I've never seen anything so carelessly thought out.

    Needless to say, there's delirium around the lower mainland, and this is only the beginning

  • Talk about a horseshoe up the ass. I can readily admit that Vancouver is a damn good team. They have depth, they are well coached, and yet, they constantly win in the most un-convincing way. Like I said before, you make a mistake, they make you pay, but they seldom force the goals through shear hard work. Sedin was horrible defensively on one of those goals last night and on several nights, I still think they play like they believe they deserve it just because they're good. I suppose it's hard to argue when you're winning. When it came down to it, I just don't think the Sharks had enough depth to compete with them and even their top lines were not keeping Van's top lines in check. Our fourth was not doing it this year like last year, but at the least, we were canceling out their top guys once Bolland came back. Yeah, bring back Bolland by game two and I think our series with them is much different. Meh, I've worked through my five stages of grief.

    Watching Roloson sit the last game I really thought he looked like what I would imagine Greg Allman would look like if he was a meth dealer, not that has anything to do with anything, but just sayin. I just finished watching the game tonight and I have a message for Boston, you just might want to stay out of the penalty box. I can't believe the scores of the these games out east. It's crazy. In theory, either team should make the Nucks work harder then they did against the Preds and the Sharks, but with that freakin horseshoe they seem to have, who knows?

  • Well, I'm still in the camp that says Luongo is overrated. He doesn't suck by any stretch, but I think Vancouver improved significantly in terms of defense this year and that was the difference. Which STILL surprises me because I thought SJ would get some great traffic in front of the net. Unlike the second three games against Chicago, Luongo got a lot of help from his team up front both defensively and offensively.

    Watching the Bolts scorch the Bruins with the power play was something and I wouldn't mind seeing that against the Nucks. Since I don't want to see Tampa in the finals, I will try and jinx them now by saying they will win because Roloson is still perfect when facing elimination. I like the Bruins makeup, but if they can't play a disciplined game against the Bolts I see them having a tough time with the Nucks. Either way, with all the horseshoe crap, the third time is probably the charm here for the Nucks.

  • In reply to VegasHawksFan:

    Had the same thought myself. Third time against Chicago, third time to the cup finals and all the other BS that's got them here

  • In reply to fourfeather:

    LOL, that's great thinking about the travel! From one corner to the other. How miserable would both teams be doing that? If you are the Bolts, do you ask if maybe you could just use the Jobbing Arena? After all, it's probably the same ratio's of people who have moved there from elsewhere though maybe less New York representation.

  • In reply to VegasHawksFan:

    Have a peek at this

  • In reply to fourfeather:

    OMG THAT IS GOLD!

  • In reply to fourfeather:

    Well, that's that. Bruins and Nucks it is. I had the Bruins, but I'm still kinda surprised it actually happened. after a day of roaming around Chicago and finally getting to have some grub at Karyn's, I was kind of tired by game time and watching that game didn't really help matters much. I actually kind of snoozed a few times before the third. What's really bizarre was that after that one goal bounced of the net and went in after the whistle, I felt like that was kind of an omen and sure enough, the Bruins get one.

    Well, onto Vancouver and maybe HH will give us a new canvas to express ourselves on.

  • In reply to fourfeather:

    Bruins vs Nucks,Original six vs a Canadian Team, both are true hockey towns. Last three times a Canadian made the finals,I pulled for them..but we're talking the Nucks being the Canadian team this time.

    GO BRUINS!!!

    BW

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