Thursday, April 29, 2010

From Sand to Sharks

So here's the thing: the Sharks don't scare me, and that scares me a little.

I was firmly against facing Phoenix in Round 1. I thought they were too lean and hungry, too young, and had "Cinderella Story" written too large all over their damned faces. No, I wanted San Jose back then. Let's take the Sushi, I thought to myself, so we can ease into the playoffs while they complete their inevitable end of season choke-fest. Perfect.

Only, we got the Dogs and they proved just as hungry as I expected. Not only that, but they had Bryzgalov, who despite all of my I'm-a-mediocre-hockey-blogger-aren't-I-cool-and-clever arrogance, intimidated me. No matter what Anaheim thought, the man's got some game. He can bring it, and he brought it all too often against the Wings. And to top all that off, the Wings brought very little for a couple of those games. The third in particular gave me such bad flashbacks to November that I started craving cranberry sauce like a goddamned speedball. It took game 7 to bring out the kind of playoff Red Wings play that we're all used to seeing. But bring it they did and when I looked at the team that stomped the Coyotes on Tuesday night, I looked on the shadow of the Sharks and I laughed. Like this:  Muahahahahhahahhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Our regular season record against SJ speaks for itself. They're a good team, but we know them and we know how to beat them, so what is there to worry about? Not worrying.

I know I'm not alone in making the observation that the Wings seem to be at their most vulnerable when they're up against teams that don't worry them. For fuck's sake, just look at our record against Edmonton (Edmonton, for the sake of little baby monkeys!) this season for evidence. Now maybe the Wings take the Sharks more seriously than I do, and if so, all to the good. I mean, they do have a strong coach in Todd McClellan, and they avoided the doom of the President's Trophy this season, so they have that going for them. Plus, I've heard rumors that there are a couple of pretty decent hockey players on their roster. So, there might be hope yet. I suppose it all depends on which Red Wings show up: the team with R1 G7 Zetterberg, Datsyuk, and Lidstrom, or the one populated entirely by the pod-people stand-ins dressed in the uniforms of Franzen, Cleary, Helm, and Kronwall.

Thought now that I think about it, I'd take an under-performing version of any of those 4 over a lot of other bodies in the NHL. Even without spectacular efforts from those guys, we've still managed to pull out more than one pretty fantastic hockey game. Imagine what can happen if they all show up tonight...

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