The first series to end in the 2013 NHL Playoffs was by sweep as the San Jose Sharks finished off the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday night in San Jose. The games were intense, and the series fittingly ended in overtime as Patrick Marleau put in his 4th of the series. So what are the 5 things we will remember from this series?
1) Goalie Contraversy – The Canucks went from having Roberto Luongo start games 1 and 2, to having Cory Schneider start game 3 and get chased from the net in favor of Luongo, to having Schneider return to start and give up 4 goals in Game 4. What does this mean about the never-ending quest of the Canucks to get rid of the albartross that is Luongo’s contract? They might want to think about getting rid of Schneider instead…he has 1 year left on his deal and some team could be willing to pay big pieces for him. The big slam against Luongo was that he never really delivered in the playoffs, but they clearly haven’t found their answer in Schneider.
2) Physical play doesn’t equal wins – The Sharks were outhit by the Canucks in 3 of the 4 games (Game 4 the Sharks outhit the Canucks by 1). This strategy almost always assures the victory over a longer series. Over a shorter one, doesn’t seem to matter.
3) The allegations – After game 3, Kevin Bieksa chirped up in the press and accused the Sharks of overacting to get calls. This led to some awesome back and forth by the Sharks players. Oh, and the fact that it was Bieksa was not lost on the sell out crowd on Monday night who boo’d him every time he touched the puck. Combine that with the kicker that he was IN THE BOX when Joe Pavelski put in the game tying goal.
4) The phantom call – Daniel Sedin got called for boarding Tommy Wingles 7 minutes into the overtime period. Sedin protested and on the ensuing power play, Patrick Marleau scored the series clinching goal. After the goal, Sedin unceremoniously got a game misconduct for abusive language. If this series of events had happened deeper in the playoffs, this call would be to Canucks fans what the Kerry Fraser missed high stick on Gretzky is to Leaf fans. The Sharks fans would deny it was a bad call and the Canucks fans would hang their hats on it for decades.
5) The Shark Chomp – Come on. It’s embarrassing to the sport if you’re over 15 and doing this thing.
There you have it. While the Sharks wait to find out if they’re playing the Red Wings or Kings, the Canucks can start working on their short game on the golf course. Onto the next round.
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