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[Open Thread] Game Thirty-Three: Anaheim Ducks at San Jose Sharks

@
15-15-5
3rd in Pacific Division
8th in Western Conference
18-10-4
1st in Pacific Division
2nd in Western Conference

Get it?  Round two?  Oh, never mind...

Anyway, this will be the fourth meeting of the season between Los Patos de Anaheim and Los Tiburones de San José.  Each of the first three games was decided in a shootout.  That's called an even series.  That also means if these two should meet in the playoffs this year, everyone attending a game is best advised to stock up on coffee, snacks, and blankets; you're going to be in either the Pond or the Tank for a good long while.  And as much as these two teams openly despise each other, can you imagine the intensity level if they ever did meet in the playoffs?  Bound to happen one of these years.  But back to tonight.

The Sharks figure to roll out the same lineup as in Sunday's game, and just for the sheer shock value it's rumored that Ron Wilson will actually use the same line combinations as Sunday... naah, probably not.  If the man owned a pocket watch it'd never get the chance to tell time because he'd be constantly tinkering with its mechanism.  Eh, whatcha gonna do.

As to the Ducks, the two main questions paddling about the pool and/or waddling about the shoreline concern whether Scott Niedermeyer will have as strong a game tonight as he did in his season debut this past Sunday (answer: probably) and will the recent kvetching by Chris Pronger and head coach Randy Carlyle about Anaheim being whistled unfairly for too many penalties this year as a leftover from last year when they were the most penalized team in the league have any effect on how tonight's game is called (answer: probably not).  And oh yeah, Doug Weight fit in nicely during his debut, so San Jose is best advised to keep a close watch on one of the most dangerous opponents possible: a veteran who still has skills and has something to prove.

Gonna be a good'un tonight.