This may be one of the quieter series hype-wise that I have big expectations for. Many people had this as the year the San Jose Sharks finally break through and win that elusive Cup, yet here we are and they’re a seven seed taking on the number two St. Louis Blues. I expect a back and forth tight checking series with plenty of excitement from both ends of the rink. Home ice will be a huge factor as these two squads boast two of the most raucous rinks in hockey.
- The Blues pretty much had their way with the Sharks during the regular season and the goaltending numbers reflect that, though in fairness St. Louis’ stats have been otherworldly all year.
Niemi’s numbers vs. St. Louis this season: 0-3-0; 2.03 GAA; .923 SV%
Halak’s numbers vs. San Jose this season: 2-0-0; 0.50 GAA; .977 SV%
Niemi’s line against St. Louis isn’t even bad, it’s just that Halak is ridiculous. Brian Elliott posted similar numbers going 2-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA and a .967 SV%. Ridiculous.
- Injury wise these squads are pretty clean. Torrey Mitchell was a question mark for the Sharks coming in but is supposed to suit up for San Jose. Brian Elliott isn’t healthy enough to start for the Blues but will dress and can spell Halak if necessary.
- Expected Lineups (Per morning skates):
Joe Pavelski – Joe Thornton – Patrick Marleau
Ryane Clowe – Logan Couture – Martin Havlat
Daniel Winnik – Andrew Desjardins – Tommy Wingels
TJ Galiardi – Dominic Moore – Torrey Mitchell
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Dan Boyle
Justin Braun – Colin White
Brent Burns – Jason Demers
David Perron – David Backes – T.J. Oshie
Alex Steen – Patrik Berglund – Andy McDonald
Vladimir Sobotka – Jason Arnott – Chris Stewart
Jamie Langenbrunner – Scott Nichol – Ryan Reaves
Kent Huskins – Alex Pietrangelo
Barret Jackman – Kevin Shattenkirk
Kris Russell – Roman Polak
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