GAME TIME: 5:00 PST
TV: TSN, Versus, RDS
I heard the Blackhawks players are all staying at a hotel in Chicago to mimic that road feel and for bonding purposes. They have won 7 straight road games in these playoffs. The only road game they lost was game 1 of round 1 against the Predators. They are not terrible at home this postseason (3-3), but they did lose 2 of their last 3 there against the Canucks.
San Jose is 3-2 on the road in the playoffs, and were 5-1 at home until the Hawks came to town. Frustration set in for the Sharks near the end of Game 2 and the usually composed Sharks lost their cool, much like the Canucks did. It made you feel better inside didn't it? Maybe just a little? These Hawks are cold and calculating. They bury their chances.
San Jose did not take one penalty in game 1, the Hawks took 5 yet the Sharks lost 2-1. There was a combined 84 shots in that game. Game 2 was more conservative with a combined 49 shots. The Sharks were all but done by the half-way point of the 2nd period, trailing 3-0.
The true sign of frustration in Game 2
came from Joe Thornton, who slashed Dave Bolland on the wrist during a face off in the 3rd period. Thornton has 1 assist and is a -4 in this series. Bolland and crew are getting under their collective skins. But it's not just Thornton who is struggling. The other Joe (Pavelski) has not scored a point in 4 straight games after scoring 9 goals and 6 assists in the first 9 playoff games. Dany Heatley only has 1 goal and 2 assists in his last 5 games. He is rumored to be playing on a bummed knee. Ryan Clowe has 1 assist in his last 5. Devin Setoguchi has 1 goal and no assists in his last 6. Not good enough. A bright spot is Patrick Marleau, who has 2 goals and 1 assist in this series and Dan Boyle, who has 3 assists. Everybody else needs to start contributing or they are dead.
The Blackhawks are getting scoring from all over against the Sharks. Dustin Byfuglien has 2 goals, while Andrew Ladd, Troy Brouwer, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp have the other Chicago goals. All is well for Chicago right now, with Auntie Niemi playing like a stud as well.
Can the Sharks come back? Anything is possible. Look at how foolish the Habs made the Flyers look last night. Just get the first goal and shut that crowd up and go from there. That Shark depth has to show up at some point, and it had better show up quick.