Worcester Watch: A Two-Zip Hole? Where have we seen this before?


4:00 PST

Providence leads 2-0
Stanley Cup of Chowder

[Note]: Make sure to visit the Worcester Sharks' webpage for all your Worcester needs. You can watch the game through AHL Live for $8.00 per game or $40.00 per round.

Well, this sucks.

In all three of the Sharks' NHL/AHL 2009 playoff series, the Sharks have dropped the first two games to put themselves in an early hole. The AHL Sharks, however, we able to recover from this  defecit in the first round, winning the next four games against the Wolf Pack to advance.

Is there more magic in the tank? We'll find out tonight against Providence.

Because of this crazy 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 playoff format, dropping the first two this series isn't quite as bad as it was for the NHL Sharks. Even if Providence were to win tonight, the Sharks would be able to play game four at home tomorrow.

That being said, this is a must win for Worcester. If they lose tonight's game, it will be extremely difficult for them to muster the offense necessary to win three games in a row. Tuukka Rask has been lights out all year, and last night's game was no exception.

For as good as Rask was, though, Greiss was even better. The 4-2 score isn't really telling of the game, as Greiss played a fantastic 59 minutes (pulled for the extra attacker in the third). There were many factors working against Greiss in this game; besides having to deal with an almost full 2 man disadvantage in the second, Greiss had little support from his defense. Even so, Griess was able to limit the Bruins to three goals, and many of his saves were nonsensical. Out of his head. (For those of you who missed the game, the highlights can be found here)

Worcester was also the beneficiary of strong play by Logan Couture, who by most accounts, was the best skater on the ice. Not only did he bring energy, but he played tough and was strong on the forecheck. He single-handedly created Worcester's first goal; Couture played the body of a Bruins player behind the Providence goal, once the puck was free he made a slick behind the back past to Riley Armstrong for the score. You can see why scouts are so high on him; Logan is a solid two way player and a leader on the ice. He was always the first on the breakout, and if he had some better passes fed to him on the rush, the outcome of the game could have been much different.

Although there were some plusses, there is plenty of room for improvement. Worcester's defense made terrible reads all night, and did nothing to ease the pressure on Greiss. McGinn, who was lauded for his energy in the first game of the series, was a non-factor.

Another room where Worcester could use improvement: the fan base. If you were one of the few who watched the feed, you could see that the crowd looked like one from a WNBA game. We here in San Jose have to make sure that the WorSharks are represented, even if it's from afar.

I'm confident the Sharks can play a solid game tonight; they dominated the game until the long 5-3 kill in the second which killed all momentum. If the defense makes better reads and improves their paths to the puck carrier, and if the Sharks can stay out of the box, this one should be coming back to Worcester at 2-1.

Prediction: Sharks win 2-0. Goals by Couture and DaSilva, who extends his point streak to 6 games.