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2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Western Conference Finals Open Thread- May 11/19

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San Jose hosts St Louis tonight as the Western Conference Finals get underway.

San Jose Sharks v St. Louis Blues - Game One Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

SAN JOSE SHARKS VS ST LOUIS BLUES- 8:00PM EDT/5:00PM PDT

If you read our Law And Order:SB Nation series in the last round, you got to see reasons why Canucks fans shouldn’t cheer for certain teams laid out for you. And it’s through this that we find two teams here that really don’t offer up a whole lot for us as Canucks fans. I mean, rooting for the Blues to get a Cup before us is a little grosser than rooting for the Sharks to get their first, right? And a lot of the things that they’re telling are you are reasons to cheer for them just seem to have the opposite effect on me. That’s not to say that there aren’t good stories on either team. Jaden Schwartz’s playoff run has been one of the better stories, and Tomas Hertl is one of my favorite non-Canucks, so it’s great to see him doing well. But trying to get me to cheer for Joe Thornton is a non-starter because if there’s one thing we Canucks fans have, it’s long memories and this was some serious bullshit:

This is a guy we should feel good for if he finally wins a Cup? Fuck that. The disrespect here is just stunning. And the officials just ignoring it when they clearly could have given him an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, you know, because that’s exactly what it is, makes zero sense. Add in the Botchford incident, and sorry but there’s no love for this Jumbo A-hole in my world.

These teams faced each other 3 years ago in the Conference Finals, with the Sharks taking the series in 6 games to move onto the Stanley Cup Finals where they lost to Pittsburgh. A lot of changes have happened with the Blues, while the Sharks have a good chunk of the core that made the run in ‘16.

While he hasn’t been super consistent, Martin Jones has been able to get the Sharks this far, but even if he plays well, can the Sharks provide enough goal support to get past a Blues team that is better defensively than the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche? And can the Blues contend with a team that has more firepower than they faced against the Winnipeg Jets and Dallas Stars on their journey here?

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

As I often do with Sharks games, today we look at Bay Area metal bands. This time it’s BLIND ILLUSION. Never heard of ‘em? They weren’t around for long, but had a couple famous members who went on to bigger and better things. One of the guitarists was Larry Lalonde, who would help create death metal with POSSESSED. After leaving them, he’d become part of a band with Blind Illusion’s bassist, a guy by the name of Les Claypool. Primus went on to be a pretty big thing, and are touring this summer if I’m not mistaken. As for Blind Illusion, they’ve reunited (without Lalonde and Claypool) and continue to record and play festivals.