Playoffs! Round 2 in the conference final games has left much to ponder. The Bruins fought hard to even their series, while the Sharks sat down and allowed the Vancouver powerhouse to take full command of theirs. I have found the Boston - Tampa games to hold more value as a hockey fan, unless you live in Vancouver. The Sharks series has just gotten disappointing and reminds me too much of how the Hawks aren't in it anymore. I am starting to miss talking about our guys in red. It just might be time to start breaking down the 2010-2011 roster, player by player.
The Bruins and Bolts make for an interesting game 2, while the Nucks make a statement against the Sharks.
As I turn the Shark's game off; can't stand watching Niemi get beat up on like that, I am thinking back to the first game. In game 1, Niemi was almost the difference maker, making 35 saves in the game, keeping the Sharks breathing. San Jose just seemed to lose all energy towards the end of the second period and that carried into the 3rd with a Vancouver explosion of chances. None of the 35 saves were greater than the ones Niemi made in the 3rd and I had the sense that good old Antti might steal the game away as he did against the Sharks last year. It was not to be. Vancouver was bringing too much to the table and they deserved that win. I thought it might make for an interesting game 2.
Boy was I wrong. The power-play killed the Sharks in Vancouver tonight. Frustration and bad penalties coupled with what seems to be an inability to keep up with the Nucks is causing me to second guess my predictions on the year and especially this series. Oh yeah, and the Sedins are finally producing. they combined for 5 points. I am really surprised at how badly the Sharks have played so far. There might be some extenuating circumstances unknown to the lonely viewer, but it looks like Vancouver is just too talented a team. The switch to SJ might bring about a new series, but all I can say after this game was, "poor Niemi." There is not an area in the game that Vancouver isn't dominating right now.
Last night was game 2 of the Boston-Lightning series and woo doggy, was it a roller-coaster ride. The Bolts took game 1 because of structure and a bit of luck jumping out to an early lead. In game 2, we saw the speed of Boston was too much for Tampa to handle and the result was a shooting gallery for the fan's entertainment. A highly uncharacteristic game that reminded me of a few Hawk's - Flyers' games from last year's finals. The shots ended at 45 for Boston and 35 for Tampa. I doubt we see much more of it in this series.
The best part about watching these two teams is that I like them both. They make for fun hockey. Already a few highlight reel goals to be remembered for a long time. I have also noticed that I now watch them with a new motivation. I am trying to decide who would be the team with the best chance of taking down the Nucks, although, I am starting to think it is just Vancouver's year. They are damn good. I might be able to recall some emotions from the 94 finals when their ultimate loss in game 7 brought on some unwanted feelings. Maybe, if Pavel Bure was still on the team. Anyway, my gut is telling me that Boston has the best chance against the Nucks, but that is a very narrow edge