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Over the course of this season, whenever the Chicago Blackhawks have stumbled, I have seen many Blackhawks fans blame Patrick Kane, some even floating the idea that maybe the team needs to move on without him in the future. Never was this sentiment more evident among Blackhawks fans than when their team fell behind three games to one against the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Semi-finals. Blame turned to adulation, however, when the Blackhawks came back to beat the Red Wings in seven games, and then took out the Los Angeles Kings in five in the Conference Fninals on the back of Kane’s overtime-winning hat trick goal in the final game.
But now that the Blackhawks have fallen behind to the Boston Bruins after three games of the Stanley Cup Final, criticism is once again being aimed at Patrick Kane, and this time Jonathan “one-goal-in-twenty-games” Toews is drawing a fair share of the fans’ ire too. So this is a long comment I started writing to one of the Chicago Blackhawks bloggers who has been echoing these same sentiments of many Blackhawks fans, but instead I’ve decided to post it here on Shark Circle.
Here’s my opinion on the play of Kane of Toews and the criticism being aimed at them. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING FULL POST37.714145 -122.250000
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When Raffi Torres’ brutal hit in game-three of the western conference quarter finals knocked Marian Hossa out for the rest of the series, there is no question the Chicago Blackhawks missed his speed and defensive strength on the way to being eliminated in six games. However, when it comes to creating offense and scoring goals, let’s face it, Hossa was not doing much before the hit, either.
In fact, few players have seen their production fall as much in the playoffs in recent years as Hossa has. It might surprise you that since joining the Blackhawks in 2009, Hossa has scored only 5 goals in 33 playoff games, good for a 12-goal pace over a full 82 game regular season. That would be mediocre production for a third-liner, let alone someone like Hossa who gets top power-play time. Even Hossa’s 6 goals in 23 games in 2008-2009 with the Red Wings were relatively poor.
The question is why has Hossa struggled to produce in the playoffs? CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING FULL POST37.714145 -122.250000
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It’s been a crazy first round of Stanley Cup Playoffs action. Here I will offer some thoughts on the events that have stuck out the most to me.
• Is winning everything? The players seem to think so. As a Sharks fan, I have seen more diving and embellishing to draw penalties over the past few seasons than any hockey fan on the planet, or for that matter, soccer fan. It made me lose some respect for my team because I saw it happening night after night to gain an advantage and win important games, while almost all their opponents simply refused to stoop to their level.
Even in the playoffs, when it may have cost the Detroit Red Wings their series against the Sharks in 2009-2010, Lidstrom, Datsyuk and company refused to stoop, refused to start diving back and evening out the huge power-play disparity. In the end, the Wings predictably lost the series, but succeeded in gaining my respect, while the Sharks lost some of it, but won the series, a tradeoff they seemed more than happy with. CONTINUE READING FULL POST37.714145 -122.250000
You can Follow Me on Twitter @SharkCircle & subscribe to the blog by entering your email in the box to the right & clicking the subscribe button.WESTERN CONFERENCE
(1)Vancouver Canucks vs. (8)Los Angeles Kings. Vancouver Canucks win in six games.
The LA Kings’ unique forward mix of cerebral two-way stalwarts, physical power-forwards, and skilled playmakers will cause the Canucks some problems on the forecheck, possibly out-possessing the Canucks for stretches over the series, but in the end, the Canucks superior ability to turn their possession into actual goals will win out. CONTINUE READING FULL POST37.714145 -122.250000
You can Follow Me on Twitter @SharkCircle & subscribe to the blog by entering your email in the box to the right & clicking the subscribe button.EASTERN CONFERENCE
(1)New York Rangers vs. (8)Ottawa Senators. New York Rangers win in six games.
Although I like the Ottawa Senators attack and team-speed throughout their lineup, I think the Rangers are deeper at every position, more physical, and better defensively. It’s not like the Senators have no chance here, but I have to go with the more complete team in this one. CONTINUE READING FULL POST37.714145 -122.250000
With the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche losing last night, the San Jose Sharks clinched a berth in the 2011-2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The only question that remains now us whether the Sharks will win their division and clinch home-ice advantage in the first round, and who they will play.
There are four possibilities at this point: the Vancouver Canucks, St Louis Blues, Detroit Red Wings, and Chicago Blackhawks. Let’s take a look at what each of these match-ups could mean for the Sharks.VANCOUVER CANUCKS
When the Canucks are healthy and running on all cylinders, they are the most complete team in the Western Conference. The past two seasons they have the best record against the Sharks of any team in the Western Conference, regular season and/or playoffs. They are the fastest team top to bottom in the Western Conference, along with the Chicago Blackhawks, but unlike the Blackhawks, their speed does not come at the expense of size, grit, or defensive structure. While the Sharks are still a bigger team than the Canucks, the difference is not as drastic, and their size advantage has not been great enough the past two seasons to make up for all the Canucks’ advantages. CONTINUE READING FULL POST37.714145 -122.250000
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In recent years, the San Jose Sharks have been one of the hardest teams in hockey to figure out and pin down. At times when you watch them play, they somehow appear to be both underachieving and overachieving at the same time. Many fans and hockey pundits alike are still trying to figure out which it is. Truth be told, it’s probably both. That doesn’t make sense, you say? Welcome to Sharks hockey. It’s just hard to know what to make of the Sharks, which leads to the same questions every year. How good are these Sharks, really? How should we feel about them? CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING FULL POST37.714145 -122.250000