| Series Odds and
Keeping your foot on the gas
Win first two games on the road. Check. Don't let
down and take Game 3 at home. Check. Put the Canucks away in Game 4 and get
some rest. Not so fast. Two seasons ago, the Sharks had the Detroit Red Wings
on the ropes, up 3-0. They took their foot off the gas and ended up stretching
the series to a 7th game that may have cost them in the next round. San Jose
had to play three elimination games in that series, expending valuable energy
that would have been better spent against the Canucks in the Western Conference
Finals that season.
The Sharks would go on to lose that next series 4
games to 1. The point is, if you take your foot off the gas, you'll pay the
price one way or another. The one big difference in that Red Wing series was
all but one game was decided by a single goal.
The one big advantage
the Sharks had that series, was home ice advantage. The Sharks don't have that
luxury against the Canucks this year. Lose game 4, and they only have one
additional game on home ice. Vancouver gets two shots.
Speaking of dissipating leads, I hope the Sharks took
some time away from the game and watched the Golden State Warriors play on
Monday night. The 6th seeded Warriors, an enormous underdog to the San Antonio
Spurs in their playoff series, had the Spurs on the ropes in Game 1 of their
second round series.
Leading by 16 points with 4 minutes to play, the
Warriors took their foot off the gas, and would eventually fall in double
overtime. Golden State took those last 4 minutes off and it changed the entire
complexion of the game.
Beat the Spurs on their court, and you have a
chance to steal the series. Now the Warriors are in the hole everyone thought
they'd be in. A four minute break may have ended their entire season.
Where's the blue and green?
One noticeable difference between
the 2011 playoff matchup with the Canucks and this season is the absence of
many Canucks fans in San Jose. In 2011, the Tank was crawling with Vancouver
fans that descended on HP Pavilion.
Pre-game warm-ups is the litmus
test to gauge how many opposing fans plan to invade your barn. When you have
multiple rows of people stacked around the tunnel that leads to the visiting
locker rooms is always a great way to figure out if there will be many opposing
On Sunday night, I counted 9 people in Canuck jerseys waiting
for their team .
That's not to say that there were only 9 Vancouver
fans in the building, but it was eerily quiet after Alex Burrows scored for
Vancouver in Game 3. In 2011, several thousand Canucks fans were there to cheer
on their team.
It was the Conference Finals, and the Canucks did hold
a 2-0 lead when the series made its way south, so there was certainly more
motivation to make the trip, but it's not like Vancouver is a cross country
trip. Have Canuck fans thrown in the towel?
So I show up to Game 3, like every regular season game I've
attended this regular season, with a small backpack that I stuff with snacks
and bottles of water. As I walked up to the metal detectors, I was instructed
by a blue coat that no backpacks were allowed in the arena.
asked why the change in policy, I was told that, "the NHL mandated the rule."
I get (and appreciate) the heightened level of security, especially
given the recent events in Boston, but there was no advance warning, no notice
to those of us who shell out thousands of dollars for season tickets that this
was being imposed.
How hard is to send out an email saying, hey, don't
bring a backpack, because we're not letting them in. What really sent me over
the top was that I stood there waiting for a blue coat supervisor to speak with
me, three dozen women carrying bags twice the size of my backpack streamed past
me without even a glance.
So the rule made absolutely no sense. The
guy carrying the laptop bag waltzed right in, no problem. After debating this
with the chief bluecoat for 10 minutes, she finally just waved me (and my
8-year old son) in. I suppose real terrorists don't debate security checks. We
missed warm-ups because of the asinine policy that it partially enforced. Good
Stats, stats, and more stats
It's not surprising
that the Sharks lead the league in playoff wins, but where else do the Sharks
stand on the NHL stat sheets? Thanks for asking, because I spent about 4
minutes looking this stuff up. Here you go:
Goals per game: 3.7 (2nd)
Goals against: 4 (2nd)
Shots per game: 33.0 (7th)
Shots allowed per game: 30.3 (6th)
Penalty minutes per game: 6.7 (1st)
Power play efficiency: 23.5% (4th)
Penalty kill efficiency:
Team +/-: +3 (4th)
Individual Points: Logan
Couture & Joe Pavelski - 6 (2nd)
Goals: logan Couture - 3 (1st)
Assists: Joe Pavelski - 4 (3rd)
Individual +/-: Brad Stuart
Shooting %: Logan Couture - 37.5% (3rd)
Avg Time on
Ice - Marc-Edouard Vlasic - 22:09 (41st)
|What did you think of
this article? Post your comments on the Feeder Forums