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Dan's View from Center Ice - 5/15/2012

Tuesday, 05.15.2012 / 4:15 PM
By Dan Rusanowsky - Sharks Broadcaster / The Daily Chomp
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The Daily Chomp
Dan\'s View from Center Ice - 5\/15\/2012

The NHL’s conference final round is underway, and in both the Western and Eastern regions, the series got off with a bang.

In both series, it is instructive to note the emphasis on (a) doing everything at full speed and (b) emphasizing the will factor over the to-be-expected skill.

The Rangers – Devils series is simply a classic Eastern Conference battle, with both teams possessing goaltenders (Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Brodeur) at the top of their respective games and two well-balanced teams in front of them. But for me, the play of Rangers defensemen Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi has been a real eye-opener.

Between them, the two blocked eight shots in Game One. Girardi got the all-important first goal. McDonagh’s skating ability rose to the top when he was able to catch Zach Parise on a breakaway and force Ilya Kovalchuk to a backhand chance on another break that made things easier for Lundqvist to stop the puck.

Of course, Lundqvist did enough of that on his own, especially with a rapid-fire, three-stop strategy (excuse my Formula One reference there) on Parise in the second period that had everybody at Madison Square Garden gawking.

In the Western Conference, Los Angeles has been acting like the team to beat. They fully outplayed the Phoenix Coyotes in Game One and that was not only accentuated by the 4-2 score but by Coyotes coach Dave Tippett’s analysis after the game. The Kings have been getting lots of great play from top guys like Dustin Brown, Jonathan Quick and Anze Kopitar but they are also really benefitting from the likes of Dwight King and Jordan Nolan, who are really making a difference by filling their assigned roles.

The most impressive thing about Los Angeles is that on a couple of miscues they gave up goals but lost absolutely none of their team composure and recovered quickly. Throw in the constant pressure at high speed and Quick’s goaltending, and you have quite a recipe.

All of this serves as food for thought as the Sharks continue their evaluation and begin to look toward the 2012-13 season.


KUDOS TO JOE THORNTON

Randy Hahn and I posed in front of the identifying banner at Goss Elementary at the street hockey court.

On Monday, it was a great pleasure to see that captain Joe Thornton continues to provide leadership, not only for his team, but for his community.

Thornton led a group of individuals from the Sharks Foundation and the affiliated Good Tidings Foundation to Goss Elementary in San Jose, where the captain has sponsored the construction of a street hockey court and the necessary equipment to bring the game to a well-behaved student body that greeted Joe with enthusiasm. Randy Hahn and I were honored to represent Sharks broadcasters, and S.J. Sharkie was part of the pageantry that served to officially open the eighth such street hockey court that the organization has spearheaded with Good Tidings.

Click here to see more photos from the event.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 50 32 12 6 147 134 70
2 NSH 48 31 11 6 145 115 68
3 STL 48 31 13 4 156 117 66
4 CHI 49 31 16 2 155 113 64
5 WPG 50 26 16 8 140 127 60
6 SJS 49 26 17 6 137 135 58
7 VAN 47 27 17 3 129 120 57
8 CGY 49 26 20 3 140 127 55
9 LAK 48 21 15 12 133 129 54
10 COL 50 21 18 11 131 141 53
11 DAL 48 22 19 7 152 157 51
12 MIN 48 22 20 6 131 138 50
13 ARI 48 17 25 6 111 161 40
14 EDM 49 13 27 9 113 162 35

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 49 25 18 9 43
L. Couture 49 18 25 4 43
J. Thornton 45 10 29 0 39
B. Burns 49 11 25 -5 36
P. Marleau 49 10 25 -8 35
T. Wingels 47 11 14 -2 25
T. Hertl 49 8 11 -1 19
J. Braun 47 1 18 4 19
M. Vlasic 48 6 10 15 16
J. Sheppard 43 5 10 -1 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 20 11 5 .911 2.58
A. Stalock 5 5 1 .905 2.65
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