Sunday, May 15, 2016

Will the Sharks Sing the Blues?

The tale of two underachieving franchises, meeting in the Western Conference Finals means that one will break the curse that has been placed upon them, while the other will continue to be mired in playoff hell. The San Jose Sharks will begin their first Western Conference Finals series in five years against a St. Louis Blues team that hasn't been there in 15 years, but both teams are working core groups of players that have arguably been slated for better things, while they have been playing together.

This match-up is nothing but interesting, as the Sharks have a high-powered offense from every position, it would seem, while the Blues are trying to grind down their opponents, make solid use of a hot goalie and score when they need to.  It has the feeling of a Goliath meets Goliath match-up, but for different reasons on either side.  This one is hard to predict, especially since neither team has run with any sort of momentum in these playoffs, so far, but neither are backing down from the pressures of the playoffs at any point either.

According to our much maligned hockey pool this year, the Blues are the favourites in this series, as they hold a 61-38 selection advantage over the Sharks heading into this series.  The fashionable choice between the two teams... Alexander Steen in Box 6, taken 16 times.  Only Logan Couture is the other double-digit player in the selections column, having been taken 12 times in Box 7.

Stuart Kristy Scott Brenda
198 points -13 -25 -33
Jori Lehtera X X
Alexander Steen X
Logan Couture X X X
Brent Burns X X X
Alex Pietrangelo X X
Martin Jones X X
Joe Pavelski X
Patrick Marleau X
Joe Thornton X X

Well, in the top four, Stuart is pretty well locked in with all six selections still in this series, which is a huge win.  Brenda's five selections is still pretty good, but being down 33 points isn't going to help her team's cause for 1st or even 2nd place.  At best, if this series goes seven games, her team could bump up to 3rd place, especially if it's a high scoring series.

Even if the Playoff Pool is all but decided, this series should be a great one to watch and we're all in for a treat here.
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