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WCSF Game 2 Notes
Niclas Wallin, Ian White and snow showers
5/1/11 - By Mike Lee -

» The only statistic that matters in a series is who wins and who loses. The Sharks are up 2-0 in their Western Conference Semi Final series with Detroit. Should they close out the series, might we say just flat out dominant when it comes to dealing with the Red Wings? San Jose is 9-2 in their last 11 games against the Wings (4-1 in the 2010 Playoffs, 3-1 in the regular season and 2-0 in the current playoff series).

» Interesting that the Sharks won both games to kick off the 2010 series with the Red Wings with one goal wins. San Jose took Games 1 & 2 by 4-3 decisions last spring. Joe Pavelski was the man of the hour last year, scoring 4 goals and 2 assists in those two games.

» San Jose split the two games in Detroit in last year's playoff series, winning Game 3 4-3 in overtime on Patrick Marleau's game winner, then dropping a 7-1 decision.

» The biggest hole in the Sharks game has turned out to be a strength through two games against the Red Wings. San Jose has killed 7 of 8 penalties called against the Red Wings (87.5%), including a 4 minute double minor early in Game 2. The Sharks were 19 of 24 on the PK in the series against the Kings (79%)

» Niclas Wallin has 4 career playoff goals, all of them game-winners.

» San Jose won the faceoff battle, taking 38 of 71 draws (54%), including Joe Thornton's 10 wins. The biggest was his win on the last faceoff, coming in the Sharks zone. Detroit had pulled Jimmy Howard and had the extra attacker in the zone to try and pullout a tying goal.

» A lot of media uproar over the snow showers the Sharks were christening Howard with in Game 2. Is there a rule that prevents them? The Kings had no problem spraying Antti Niemi in the first round, but nobody seemed to care about them then.

» The playoffs aren't typically the best place to showcase your muscle, but when Todd Bertuzzi tried pushing Marc-Edouard Vlasic around in the 2nd period, San Jose had an answer. Ben Eager quickly pointed out that the Sharks wouldn't tolerate any nonsense from the forward. It earned him a 10 minute misconduct, but there were no more shenanigans from Bertuzzi. Of course his team trailed by two goals and needed to focus on scoring. When asked about Eager, Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said: "Ben's (Eager) an important part of our team. He has a roll to fulfill. He's a big physical guy. He gets in some scrums ever now and then. He understands his job. We won the game tonight and he was part of it."

» Detroit leaned uncharacteristically on physical play, out-hitting the Sharks 31-19.

» Dan Boyle had a game high 8 shots on Howard. Henrik Zetterberg was next in line with 6 shots.

» Ian White has to be kicking himself for waiting this long to join the playoff fraternity. Scoring his first career playoff goal on Sunday to go along with his 5 assists, the defenseman must be thinking all this playoff stuff is pretty easy. He was pretty matter-of-fact about his goal: "Dragged it (the puck) across the blueline and gave it to Dany (Heatley) and he made a good move, went down the wall and took some pressure and found a way to get it back to me. I had quite a bit of time up top and a lot of traffic, so I made sure I put it in the corner and it went in." What's so hard about this stuff?

» Ryane Clowe has quietly moved to the top of the Sharks scoring list during the playoffs. His 2 assists on Sunday push him 2 points ahead of Logan Couture for the team scoring lead (9 points on 4 goals, 5 assists).

» Quote of the game -- Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock on the game: "Bottom line I thought we came in here and competed. Today I thought we skated better and had more opportunities. Maybe we just weren't good enough. They won more battles than we did. By doing that they end up with the puck more than we did."

Game Recap


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