2011 NHL Playoffs: Western Conference Finals Update

Looking at this series it should not be a surprise to anyone that the Canucks are up on the Sharks 3 games to 1. While I can’t deny that the four games have been interesting to watch, I do have to say they have been interesting for all the wrong reasons.  Looking at the series on paper one would expect to see exciting, fast paced and well executed hockey games coming from both ends of the ice, but that’s not what we’ve seen.

The perks of being in the ‘Sin Bin’

What we have gotten in four games is wonderful opportunity to watch both teams decide to take turns parading players in and out of the penalty box, and watch the other team capitalize on the bone-head plays. San Jose started this cycle in game 2 when they decided to try to combat Vancouver’s high-powered offense with over the top physical play, and earn 51 penalty minutes led by Ben Eager. By the way, congratulations to Mr. Eager for earning my coveted  ‘Douchebag of the Conference Finals’ award with the celebration of his goal, and follow-up taunting of Luongo when his team was still down by 4 GOALS!! Stay classy Eager.

In game 3 it was Vancouver’s turn to try to show how physical they could be. Needless to say this led to 32 penalty minutes, and allowing 2 power goals in the first 10 minutes of the game. And then there was second period of game 4 – San Jose decided to do what they do best and ‘Go San Jose’, for lack of a better term. Three ‘five-on-three’ situations and allowing Vancouver to score 3 power play goals in 1:55. All I could say was “Woooooooow” and feel bad for Melanie Wilcox. Sorry Mel.

So that brings us to tonight’s game 5 in Vancouver. Whose going to win?? What team is going to show up at each end? I’d place my bets on the Canucks to finish the Sharkies off  tonight. The Sedin twins are pretty much having their way with the Sharks defense combining for 34 points in the playoffs, and Kesler seems to finally be coming alive in the series.

Metro-Detroit Native (Livonia) and member of the 2010 USA Olympic Men’s Hockey Team – Ryan Kesler

To make matters worse for the Sharks, they’ll be taking the ice with hurt Joe Thornton. With so much of their offense in these playoffs coming thru the play of Captain Joe. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, he brings tonight.  If San Jose is going to have a chance looks for Clowe and Marleau to step up and fill Jumbo Joe’s shortcomings, and Neimi will need to stand on his head.

Prediction: Vancouver for the series win tonight. And boom goes the dynamite!

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