Heard from Niemi as he left the ice, "Joten tämä on, miltä tuntui olla Luongo viime vuonna."

If google translate is correct, that means "So this is what it felt like to be Luongo last year". Oye, was that a beat down. Meltdown is more like it I guess. Since the Hawks lost to the Canucks, I have had a pit in the stomach feeling that this is Vancouver's year. I picked the Sharks in seven for this series based on a couple of things. But none of those things I thought were edges have seemed to make a difference. Tonight was as ugly a performance as you could imagine and Eager once again showed just how big of an ass and meathead he could be. Way to stay classy Ben. But for the rest of the Sharks, there wasn't much better. Surprisingly, I think Thornton has finally lived up to expectations. Too bad the rest of the team is not with him. If I read this stat correct, SJ has now lost eight games straight in the WCF going back to 2004. Maybe an absolute ass kicking was what they needed to finally get their heads straight and come back ready to play. We shall see. 

If you didn't see the game, what you missed was a clinic in execution from the Nucks. When SJ made mistakes or took stupid penalties, the Nucks cashed in. Seemingly at the exact right time, the Sedin bitches have caught fire and more then made up for doing squat in the first two rounds. But more then that, like every good team, they are getting scoring from all over the place. Bieksa, Torres, Higgins, Rome and Raymond. From the Sharks, the first two goals in the first period were nice. Couture had a sweet break away and then they scored on a goal that Thornton threw to the front that Marleau pushed in that would not have counted were it not for Toronto. Then, after taking multiple stupid stupid penalties, Eager gets a garbage goal in front of the net, throws up his arms like he won the cup and bends down to taunt Luongo. So, immediately after scoring the goal, he got to sit in the box. Ugh! In two games, Vancouver has shown they belong here and belong in the finals. In a manner not entirely unfamiliar to fans of a certain cup winning team, the Canucks are looking poised to take care of business after nearly blowing the first round. Of course, this is the same Nucks team that nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against the Hawks, so stay tuned I guess. 
Out East, that was a hell of a game. Seemingly, that was not the kind of game either of those teams would want to play. In the regular season, Boston allowed the fewest goals in the east and were surpassed only by Nashville by one goal. With a final score of 6-5 it would seem neither team is very well suited to run and gun, but for a team that wound up with a goal differential of +51, I have to think a fast tempo is always going to benefit Boston more then Tampa Bay. To FF's comment on the last thread about Thomas, I have to agree, he does look shaky and looked rattled. Keeping Tampa out of their defensive gameplan seems like it will be the key for Boston. If they come out flying again tomorrow, they might suck the Bolts in again. I still think Boston ultimately comes out of that series though admittedly I really don't want to see TB win. 
Well, when I said Sharks in seven, here is what I was thinking. In earlier matchups, the Sharks had done well at getting traffic in front of the net and Niemi had been playing well. Actually, I think Niemi is still playing better then Luongo though both are giving up tons of juicy rebounds. Anyway, in addition to that stuff, I figured that SJ's trip to the WCF last year was going to give them experience this year to get over the hump. More still, Thornton this year has finally started looking to me like the guy he should have been for awhile. For the Canucks, I felt the talent was better, though not by much versus the Sharks. Watching the cockiness of their fans, the things they had to say after beating Chicago, the way they quit when getting dominated, I didn't expect them to bring it. After watching them tonight though, they look totally dialed in while the Sharks are looking like.......the post season Sharks we know and love. On the plus side, perhaps a humiliation is something the Sharks can use to motivate themselves. On the down side, what happened tonight looked a lot to me like a complete mismatch of ability to execute. I don't think the Sharks gave up as much as Vancouver flat out PWN'd them. 
Sigh, and I truly was going to stop at the Casino today to put a c-note on the over. 

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