| Sharks get fowl
Playoff run starts Thursday in San Jose
The NHL regular season came to an end on Sunday
and the last remaining playoffs seeds were determined. San Jose will square off
against division rival Anaheim, in an all-California series, starting on
Thursday, April 16th at HP Pavilion. The series then gets a brief respite,
continuing on Sunday the 19th.
The series then shifts to Southern
California, where the two teams will play games 3 & 4 on the 21st and 23rd
of April. If the series goes longer then four games, San Jose will host games 5
on Saturday, Aril 25th and if necessary game 7 on Wednesday, April 29th. If a
game 6 is required, Anaheim will play host on Monday, April 27th.
Jose opened the regular season on October 9th with a 4-1 pasting of the Ducks,
which was avenged by Anaheim 8 days later at the Arrowhead Pond in a 4-0
pasting by the Ducks.
The two teams didn't face each other again until
early December, when Evgeni Nabokov stopped all 31 shots he faced in a 2-0
San Jose would shutout the Ducks once again on March 15th, in
a 1-0 duel that Nabokov won over Jonas Hiller. The two teams split a
home-and-home series in early April to close out the season series which the
Sharks took, winning 4 of 6 games between the two teams this season.
The last game ended with a flurry of penalties, as both teams took exception to
play in front of Nabokov. The Ducks top line of Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf and
Corey Perry played a big part in stirring up the pot in advance of the playoff
While San Jose fans will focus their attention on defenseman
Chris Pronger, the Sharks will undoubtedly key on Perry and Getzlaf. Nabokov
will get his chance to silence Perry, who he referred to as a "whiner" earlier
Hopefully the Sharks skaters will keep Perry clear of
their netminders, who were the recipients of several slashing and cross checks
by the Ducks right wing. In the regular season finale between the two teams,
Perry cross checked Brian Boucher in the back after Getzlaf was pummeled in the
The Ducks will be facing Travis Moen, a former left
wing they sent north in a trade deadline deal along with defenseman Kent
Huskins. Huskins has yet to make an appearance for San Jose, but he close to
returning. San Jose sent prospects and a draft pick to Anaheim, so they don't
have to face any scored former players.
Moen was acquired to add a
little toughness to the equation, something the Sharks have lacked the past two
seasons in the playoffs. Their hands will certainly be full starting Thursday,
as Anaheim will undoubtedly resort to the rough stuff.
earned their draw with St Louis slipping past the Ducks for the 7th seed with a
1-0 win over Colorado on Sunday afternoon.
They hope to have most of
the walking wounded ready for the NHL's second season. Of the dozen or so
players injured this season, only Torrey Mitchell appears to be unfit to make a
playoff appearance. Mitchell broke his leg in training camp, and suffered a
setback during a conditioning assignment to Worcester, the Sharks top
The Sharks are also eager to get the playoff
monkey off their back after disappointing showings the last three seasons. This
will mark head coach Todd McLellan's first stint as the top man behind the
bench during an NHL playoff series.
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