May 11, 2011

San Jose Sharks - Going Down in Legendary Form

The San Jose Sharks remind me of the baseball team that lacks a closer. They get through 8 innings confidently holding a two run lead. Just when the game looks like it’s over, the closer throws a wild pitch, walks a guy and gives up a three- run homer. When the pressure is on, the Sharks are the equivalent of Byung-Hyun Kim in the 2001 World Series(read about Kim in games 4 and 5 at  This team is a fraud. Dominant in the regular season year after year, the Sharks just can’t get it done come playoff time.  They have won their division the last four years, and  have yet to make an appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, and have only appeared in one Western Conference Final, getting destroyed by the Chicago Blackhawks in 4 games last year.

The Sharks forced tomorrow nights game 7 at home after losing 3-1 to the Red Wings last night. Not only did they lose, they looked pathetic and weak doing it. This team lacks the soldiers required to win in the playoffs. They have many big bodies that can score in the regular season (see, Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Dany Heatley).  When it comes time to deliver and sacrifice in the playoffs, all three of these guys are stiffs.  The three of them combined have 23 points in these playoffs. Marleau has only 5! Ryan Clowe and Logan Couture are leading the Sharks with 13 and 11 points respectively.  This trio of duds takes up the majority of the Sharks cap space with Thornton making $7.2 million, Marleau making $6.9 million, and Heatley making $8 million. Their combined cap hit for this year is $21.4 million. The rest of the team makes $37 million combined.  None of these three “Big Bodies” has what it takes to be physical. Size is irrelevant if you are afraid of the corner. Watch closely and see how Heatley floats around, Thornton cautiously avoids hitting someone and Marleau avoids the dirty zones in front of the net. The Sharks are easy pickings right now, and they don’t have Evgeny Nabokov to blame this year. Does anyone remember how awful this trio was for Canada in the Olympics last year? Tomorrow will be a pressure cooker, and the Sharks will choke again!

-Mark Chyz

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The Hockey World is Still Buzzing about the Red Wings - Blood in the Water

It is not very often that Sharks get hunted but that is exactly what is happening in the 2011 Stanley Cup race. The unlikely story of the Sharks and Red Wings series is playing out to the bitter end.  The boys from Hockey Town USA are feeling pretty good about themselves after coming back from a 3-0 deficit and knotting the series @ 3 games each.  The strange thing here is that San Jose led the last two games and lost their wheels near the end.  The young guys on the Sharks like Couture and Thornton  are fighting and diving instead of producing.  Pros on the Red Wings like Pavel Datsyuk are coming up big when it counts.  The blood is in the water and the Sharks have been reduced to fish bait. The tide is in Detroit's favour and San Jose is going to need a miracle to stop from being washed away by the big red menace !!!

This matchup has been a hockey classic.  It shows that guts and determination can overcome anything when the Stanley Cup is on the line.  It is too easy to search the internet and find pictures of Joe Thornton diving like a swan when playing the Wings.  The Sharks need to wake up and at least put a fight or win in the seventh game.   No matter what happens, the Wings of 2011 will be remembered for their character and the Sharks will be remembered for the team that stumbled in the clutch.  We like Detroit in this deciding game but whoever wins will have their hands full with Vancouver.  Stay tuned gang , lots of good hockey on the way!!!  

May 10, 2011


The Bruins and Lightning sailed through their last rounds by crushing the Flyers and Capitals, respectively.  There was no real competition in those matchups and both teams have been sitting on the sidelines and watching the battles out West.  Vancouver has finally gotten through and god only knows if we will see the Red Wings or Sharks emerge in the other series.
Vancouver's ability to rebound is going to give them the "scars " to move ahead to the next round and eventually become Cup champs.  We appreciate the character showed by Detroit and if they move ahead, they will be too tired to battle the rested Canucks.  In a battle of Europeans, the Canucks will win out with the Sedins and any shootout with Detroit will also favour Vancouver.  Jimmy Howard is good but Roberto Luongo is gold.   

If San Jose somehow sneaks by, they will get crushed by Vancouver.  The Canucks are way ahead of San Jose on the "clutch" scale.  The Sharks will also be like Detroit; way to tired !!!  
If I am coaching the contenders out East; I would be worried.  All the squads out West have fought incredible head to head series and this should give them the killer instinct to go all the way.  The battle hardened West should produce the Canucks as champs for a faceoff against Boston or Tampa.  Our gang likes Boston in the East and we will we be watching breathlessly if they end up confronting the Canucks.
This has been a great Stanley Cup series so far and it will only get better.  Time to buckle up gang, more action is coming down to the pike !!!


The Red Wings have character on top of character.  These guys have showed the NHL that you can step back from the abyss and battle back in a super high pressure series.  This is nuts !!!  Detroit has come all the way back to show the Sharks that character and experience can spank youth and moxie , every time !!!

We were expecting San Jose to finish off the Wings but the tide is now in favour of the boys from Motor City, USA.  Jimmy Howard has been the difference in this series and clutch scoring by the Wings has been sending Vegas bookies running for cover.  The series is now tied and the outcome is uncertain.  At this point it will be hard for a young team like the Sharks to put this tail spin behind them.  We were expecting a San Jose/Vancouver matchup but we are now leaning towards Detroit.  The winner of this series will be no match up for Vancouver once the next round begins.  These guys are leaving their hearts out on the ice and once they run into hurricane Kesler, it will be game over.   
Vancouver's high scoring team will come to life at one point and the opposition will be left with their jaws dropping.  The Canucks have seen the dark side of a meltdown and lived to move on.  The wins against Chicago and Nashville were hard earned and we think that Detroit or San Jose will not be up to the task.   In the first two rounds , the Canucks were the Ryan Kesler show and we expect that his play and others will  eventually lead Vancouver into the final.   The hustle from Higgins, Kesler, and Lapierre will rub off on the big shooters on the Canucks, eventually.  The next round will be dynamite for the West Coast boys.   The Cup race is going to move from OT games, to blow outs, and now to classics.  The hockey is only going to get better guys so hold on.     

May 8, 2011

Bruins,Bolts,Canucks, and Sharks - Are you ready !!!!

The NHL season is pushing to an end and the pressure is mounting for marquee matchups.  Many teams in this year's race seem unwilling to lay it all out there.  The guilty parties in the "lack of effort" department are The Washington Capitals and the Philadelphia Flyers.  Both these "professional" hockey teams dropped the ball and came up as "super" losers by having their clocks cleaned in the last rounds.  My feeling is good riddance and let the real hockey begin.

The next round will have the Boston Bruins playing the Tampa Bay Lightning.  This will be a titanic battle of run and gun hockey against the best net minder in the NHL.  We like the balance on the Bruins side for a victory over the Bolts.   The Bruins beat a jacked up Montreal team and destroyed Philadelphia.  They are on a roll and the young snipers from Tampa won't be able to cope with the tight play by Beantown.
In the West, we are looking for a Vancouver vs San Jose series.  It seems that they don't like to make decisions out West though so it might be a few more days before we know what the status will be in the PST part of the planet.  We are calling on the big boys for the Canucks and Sharks to get this deal signed sealed and delivered.  For god's sake, this is the Stanley Cup.  Win with conviction and give your fans a show.  When the time comes and you meet a team from the East in the final, it won't be pretty !!!

Win Cash with the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

Bruins and Bolts - Catamount Teamates - Nose 2 Nose !!!

Flyers over the Bruins in 5, and Washington over Tampa in 6; those were my two picks that I discussed in my last article. After the events of the second round, I was ashamed at my own amateur picks. I thought I was standing pretty before the second round started, but boy were my picks wrong. Thomas stole the series for Boston, and Tampa outplayed Washington in four straight games. Two sweeps that I never saw coming. If there’s one thing we can learn from the Flyers/Bruins series, it’s that goaltending can make or break a team’s playoff run. Tim Thomas played out of this world, stealing goals from the Flyers every game. On the other hand you had Boucher, Bob and Leighton sharing net time for the Flyers, with a combined save percentage of lowly .881, compared to Thomas’ stellar .937 save percentage. Thomas and Roloson should give the hockey world a great show over the next two weeks. Tampa and Boston will face off in the third round of this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs. The series will get underway later this week, with Boston carrying home ice advantage. I think goaltending will be the deciding factor. If Thomas plays the way he did against Philly, Tampa will have their hands full. Goal scorers like Gagne, Lecavalier, Stamkos and St. Louis will undoubtedly put pressure on Thomas; however a chance to play for the Stanley Cup is up for either team to grab.

Being a University of Vermont graduate myself, I am impressed by the leadership of former Catamount teammates, Martin St. Louis and Tim Thomas. Both guys lead by example. St. Louis’ ability to control game flow, and make plays sets him apart from most hockey players. He makes passes other players could only dream of making, like saucy backhanders across the ice to an open Stamkos for a fiery one timer. I’m sure Thomas and St. Louis love facing off against each other, and this series will only add to their legacies.

- Matt Gamelin


The Predators roared back to life last night and kicked the Canucks to the curb.  Nashville was knocking them into the net like Luongo was MIA.  Just when you think the Canucks are ready to move on, these guys do an about face and get blown to bits.  The score was 4-3 but the Canucks were never really in the game.  Luongo has to get his game face on and pull his best stuff out for the next encounter.  The Predators are a solid team but in theory, Vancouver should have buried them by now.  We like Canucks to win but just like the rest of the 2011 Stanley Cup race, anything is possible.

Detroit is at bat tonight against San Jose.  This one has been one sided so far if you go by the games won and lost tally.  San Jose can't let the snipers on Detroit get into the groove if they want to move on easily.  A win by Detroit tonight puts the target squarely on the Sharks.  Momentum is a nasty bitch and the Sharks will have too much to overcome if they lose that it could put the whole series in jeopardy for them.  Detroit is a great team but the boys from San Jose should come out on top in this series.  Nothing is guaranteed in life or in hockey so Detroit has a chance to turn momentum on it's head tonight and eventually knock out the favoured Sharks.