Tuesday, May 4, 2010

San Jose Sharks to Continue Momentum versus Detroit in Game Three

After two impressive games on home ice, the Sharks are up two games to zero on the Detroit Red Wings as they head to Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena for the next two contests of the Western Conference Semifinals.

The Sharks’ recent victories over the Red Wings are nothing short of spectacular. As many hockey fans understand, the Detroit Red Wings is widely known as a strong hockey franchise, with this year being no exception. Although they had only been the fifth seed entering the 2010 Playoffs, a lot of it had to do with their injury-marred season, leaving some of their stars, namely Tomas Holmstrom and Henrik Zetterberg, on the injured-reserve list for parts of the season. In the current stage of the playoffs, however, the Red Wings are pulling no punches, pairing up dynamic forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, and strong, experienced defensemen Brian Rafalski and captain Nicklas Lidstrom.

Given the Sharks have demonstrated their ability to play a terrific game and win, the next two games must be played with a discerning focus, especially against a strong team like the Red Wings. Detroit does not plan to make the next games easy for the Sharks, now they have home ice advantage, and with coach Mike Babcock making it known to a few sources of his plans to shut down the Sharks’ offense and keep them from scoring.

Fortunately for the Sharks, they too have enough dynamic players to continue their momentum against the Red Wings this series. With the surprising star, 25-year old Joe Pavelski, currently atop the NHL Playoff leader board for goals (and second in points), power player Devon Setoguchi, rising star Manny Malhotra, and the first forward line of Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and Dany Heatley, the Sharks have arguably the strongest offense in the current playoffs. In addition, the Sharks have seen flashes of brilliance from defenseman Dan Boyle, despite the fluke “own goal” in Denver from Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Since the widely-reported error, Boyle has come through tremendously with great playmaking, and in addition, notching three assists in Game 1 versus Detroit and scoring against the Avalanche. To win, the Sharks must keep up their offensive front, while at the same time stepping up their defense with better breakouts and coverage of Red Wings players in the defensive zone. If the Sharks can pull off a series victory versus Detroit, their chances of winning the Cup will be much more likely.

Catch the game tonight at 4:30pm Pacific Time.


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