Well, there’s something to be said for entering the playoffs on a bit of a roll. However, the Sharks really have their work cut out for them: they were 0-4 vs. the Blues this year, with scores of: 2-4 (oct 15), 0-1 (dec 10), 0-3 (feb 12), and 1-3 (mar 3). So, the good news there is that the Sharks haven’t seen St. Louis in over a month, and certainly have picked up their game in that time. St. Louis was 4-6 over their last 10 games, the Sharks were 7-3. Easily the Sharks were more desperate, but I like that trend. I suspect that having Havlat back and up to speed, and generally being healthy should help the Sharks.
What to Look For
The Keys for San Jose in the playoffs are pretty simple: stay consistent, be effective on the Penalty Kill, and especially have Niemi stay consistent – it was an interesting sign that McClellan pulled him in the 3rd period of Saturdays game. Finally, I think the Sharks know that they need to move everything to a new level – we’ll know after the first game which direction things are going – for the Sharks, winning 1 of 2 in St. Louis is a must.