Right now it would seem that lady luck is not on our side. I'm sure you have all read 100 times today that every game winning goal in this series has gone off a shark, and yet we are down 2-1 in the series. But let me explain exactly why I am not worried about us in this series:
1) We have pumped 129 shots on goal the past three games and have had little help from our big boys:
The latter part of this sentence may seem alarming; and it is, but lets not focus on that for now. For the first time, our secondary scoring is getting it done. Last year, our second line of Michalek, Pavelski, and Clowe combined for one point in the playoffs and could hardly get anything on goal. This year, they are each cracking 6+ shots per game and were pretty much responsible for our victory in game two. It amazing how much Pavelski and Clowe have matured since last year in the playoffs. I actually consider Seto a lateral move from Michalek; both speedy snipers who battle inconsistency, but Seto has stepped it up big time in the playoffs. But our second line has come alive while our top line has yet to contribute a goal, although they did combine for 4 points (all assists) in game 2. Heatley and Marleau combined for 83 goals this season. Once our top line comes alive, we'll be rolling. And make no mistake, this line NEEDS to come alive. It looks like we can still outplay the avs with marginal performance from Heatley and terrible performance from Marleau, but the play of our top line will not suffice down the road.
2) Of all the people who could have made that mistake last night, I'm glad it was Dan Boyle:
Boyle is a veteran. A big boy. He can handle this even though it would put a mortal man on suicide watch. He is going to come back harder than ever tomorrow night. Boyle is consistent and a dominant workhorse. Think about it: if someone like Demers made that mistake, it could ruin the rest of his career. Young players can't handle a blunder like that this early in a career. It could have caused irreparable damage that could ruin a career. Also think about someone who is already marred by mental weakness like Patrick Marleau. An own goal like that could have taken Marleau out of the playoffs completely. And as an upcoming UFA, it could have sealed his fate to be shipped off. Boyle is no Patrick Stefan (if you don't know who that is, here you go ). Stefan's blunder ended his career. Boyle? Not even close.
3) Unlike last year, we are actually outplaying our opponent:
Anaheim totally outclassed us last year. We may have out shot them on many occasions but none of our shots were actually a threat to hiller. Mostly unscreened shots from the point or outside the slot. If we keep playing the way we do, I have confidence we will win this series.
Boyle is coming out mad tomorrow; I predict he has a 2 point night. Sharks are far from sinking boys, keep the faith alive.