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Game Inside the Game: WCQF Game 4 - Blues @ Sharks - April 19, 2012

Thursday, 04.19.2012 / 2:32 PM / News
By Eric Lindquist  - Staff Writer
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Game Inside the Game: WCQF Game 4 - Blues @ Sharks - April 19, 2012


The San Jose Sharks get set to take on the St. Louis Blues in Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals tonight at 7:30pm. Please note all games will be carried LIVE locally on CSNCA-HD / 98.5-102.1 FM KFOX and the Sharks Radio Network .

Each game day, SJSHARKS.COM will take a look at the “Game inside the Game” as the Sharks continue their quest toward the Stanley Cup! Line matchups, player vs. player battles, head-to-head stats, and key figures highlighted each game day.

Before Game 4, let’s take a closer look at the GAME INSIDE THE GAME for the Sharks and the Blues.

EXPERIENCE

"We said before the second overtime, 'Relax, we've been here before, We know how to do this." – Joe Thornton before the 2nd overtime in Game 1.

The Sharks need to use that same type of mentality heading into Game 4 vs. the Blues as the Sharks try to tie up the series 2-2. No need to panic.

EXPERIENCE IS KEY

SAN JOSE: The San Jose Sharks have 1,001 games of Stanley Cup playoff experience between the 20 players that have suited up in this first round series vs. the Blues. The Sharks have 12 players that have played in over 40 NHL playoff games in their career:

Marleau 127 – franchise leader
Thornton 112
White 112
Boyle 87
Havlat 70
Vlasic 66
Clowe 66
Pavelski 61
Murray 55
Mitchell 53
Moore 44
Niemi 43

Overall, the Sharks average 50 games of playoff experience among the 20 players that have dressed in this series and does not include the 72 games played by Michal Handzus, who could possibly see action in Game 4. The Sharks need to build off this experience to tie the series before it heads back to St. Louis for Game 5.

ST. LOUIS: The St. Louis Blues have 542 games of Stanley Cup playoffs experience between the 23 players that have suited up in the first round series vs. the Sharks. The Blues have five players that have played in over 40 NHL playoff games in their career:

Langenbrunner 140
Arnott 118
Huskins 48
McDonald 44
Nichol 43

Overall, the Blues average 23.6 games of Stanley Cup playoffs experience among the 23 players that have dressed in the series. However, if you take out Langenbrunner and Arnott, the Blues have just 284 games of experience among the other 21 players (13.5 average).

LINEUP CHANGES FOR GAME 4

SAN JOSE: despite the broken nose to Dominic Moore, he has stated that he is healthy enough to play.

Coach McLellan gave a new look during Wednesday’s morning practice to the top 4 lines:

Couture-Thornton-Pavelski
Clowe-Marleau-Havlat
Winnik-Handzus-Mitchell
Winchester-Desjardins-Wingels

Could we see Winchester and Handzus into the mix? Handzus adds 72 playoff games of experience and Winchester another 23.

ST. LOUIS: Ken Hitchcock inserted Chris Stewart back in the lineup for Game 3 after he sat in Game 2. No lineup changes expected in Game 4.

DID YOU KNOW?

Getting their skates wet… The Sharks have just five players with under 10 NHL games of playoff experience (Desjardins, Wingels, Galiardi, Winnik, and Braun) while the Blues have 14.

Reverse the Trend…. San Jose has dropped four of their last five Game 4’s.

The Trend is your Friend…. The Sharks are 3-0 vs. the Blues in franchise history in Game 4’s, with all three games decided by one goal.

Wouldn’t that be nice… Patrick Marleau is the Sharks franchise leader with four playoff shorthanded goals in his career.

Coach Todd McLellan won a Calder Cup as the Head Coach of the Houston Aeros in 2003 and a Stanley Cup as an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings in 2008.

THE BOTTOM LINE

The Sharks need to play like the more experienced team tonight in Game 4 if they want to tie up the series. What does that mean? Play hard but smart and stay out of the penalty box. Don’t let a bad bounce take over the game. Make the Blues KNOW that they are in the Shark Tank! If the Sharks can build of their collective experience and take Game 4, the momentum would be on their side and could possibly have the much younger and inexperienced Blues a little unbalanced headed back to St. Louis!

When coach McLellan asked if experience will be a factor….

"I don't think it hurts us," McLellan said.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 82 41 38 23 79
J. Thornton 82 11 65 20 76
P. Marleau 82 33 37 0 70
L. Couture 65 23 31 21 54
B. Burns 69 22 26 26 48
T. Wingels 77 16 22 11 38
D. Boyle 75 12 24 -8 36
J. Demers 75 5 29 14 34
T. Hertl 37 15 10 11 25
M. Nieto 66 10 14 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Stalock 12 5 2 .932 1.87
A. Niemi 39 17 7 .913 2.39
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