May 15 2011 05:19PM
San Jose Sharks @ Vancouver Canucks
5:00 PM PST
|2.92 (7th)||Goals/Game||2.31 (14th)|
|2.92 (10th)||Goals Against/Game||2.54 (T-5th)|
|13.7% (13th)||PP||22.2% (T-5th)|
|82.7% (7th)||PK||86.0% (5th)|
> All Out Attack: Much of the analysis coming into tonight suggests SJ has the depth up front and VAN has the better defense. So if there was ever a night for some of the regular season productive habits to spring alive, you're looking at it. It's a safe bet the Sharks will throw Thornton's line out against Kesler which leaves a Demers/Vlasic or White/Wallin pairing to take care of the Sedins. The first line has to get moving and some smart decisions from the defense (Edler and Ehrhoff primarily) along with perhaps Hansen or Torres could make all the difference. For the defense this will be a lot like Chicago: a deep front six made worse with a very productive third line. Aaron Rome continues to play at the expense of Ballard and that could come back to haunt Vigneault if the Sharks can abuse the Canucks' third pairing. For what it's worth, Luongo only saw the Sharks once in the regular season, getting the win and earning a .975 SV% and a .96 GAA.
> Maintain The Pace: McLellan could legitimately roll three lines and still get the results he wants at both ends of the rink. Who the Thornton line is out against (in the regular season, it was always the Sedins) is the first 'game-within-the-game' to watch. The second is to observe how the Pavelski line does against Salo and Rome: both defenders are responsible in their own end, but Pavelski's line has great speed and net crashing abilities which makes them far different than Nashville. He'll also need a solid job from his PK units (Marleau, Pavelski, Boyle, Vlasic) to get the Canucks fifth best PP from striking pay dirt. Niemi has haunted Vancouver in the past, but this season was 1-2-1 with a .896 SV% and a 3.64 GAA.
> Impress Your Friends With Knowledge!: The Canucks have never hosted a Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. Start of a new trend?