We're finally here. It's gameday in southern California and the Sharks are ready to take on the Kings in game of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. We've dissected the offense, looked at the defense, picked apart the special teams and peered into the crystal ball of goaltending. Oh, and we picked the first round series.
So now what's left? I guess just...playing the game. Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Matt Nieto are good to go for game one and, at this point, we know what we're getting from the Kings. There are always surprises to be had in the playoffs, but there aren't any secrets between the Kings and the Sharks — not now, not given all the history these franchises have.
Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. on CNBC. So...let's do this. Go Sharks.
Tale Of The Tape
|46-30-6||Regular Season Record||48-28-6|
|3rd in Pacific||Rank||2nd in Pacific
This was a very nice win for the Sharks, who gave the Kings everything they could handle and then some. If San Jose plays like this, there's a good chance we see a deep run by the Sharks this summer.
- Martin Jones gets his first postseason start. There will be some nerves, so it'll be important for the Sharks to start with some tempo and possession to let him get comfortable.
- Joe Thornton vs. Anze Kopitar. This is the key matchup in this series. If Thornton outplays Kopitar, the Sharks have a shot.
- Keep pushing. The Sharks have done a great job this season at keeping after teams even when holding a lead — they can't let up against Los Angeles. At all.
- As long as the Sharks win one out of two in Staples Center this week, they're in good shape. Game one isn't everything...but it'd be nice to take off the pressure heading into Saturday's contest.