Sharks-Bruins: San Jose Makes Statement in Boston

Joe AscherContributor IFebruary 11, 2009

An interesting game in Boston last night as the leaders in each conference faced-off in a possible Stanley Cup preview.

A great hockey game for sure, but the Bruins have to be concerned about the way the game turned about halfway through the second period.

After Mark Savard was robbed point blank by Nabokov midway through the second, the momentum really seemed to shift in favour of the Sharks.

That is when they began a ferocious forechecking game that carried into the third period.

The Bruins still held the lead 2-1 after two, but in the third the Sharks really showed why they are tops in the West, and now have to be considered the favorite to win the Cup.

The forechecking continued right from the start of the third and they were rewarded with three unanswered goals plus an empty-netter. Even though they got a couple lucky bounces, like off of Joe Thornton's skate, it was because of their hard work and determination that these good things happened.

The Bruins played a pretty good game, taking leads of 1-0 and 2-1 thanks to Milan Lucic's two goals, and maybe could have won if Savard buries that point-blanker. But solid goaltending and an overall team toughness make San Jose a good bet to win this year.

The Bruins can match San Jose in team-toughness, goal scoring, team defense, maybe even goal-tending—but there is one intangible that can't be overlooked. The last three seasons the Sharks have been involved in some decent playoff runs and almost beat Detroit last year in the Conference finals. They have been on the verge of a Stanley Cup win and this year could be the year they finally do it.

On the other hand, Boston doesn't have the playoff experience that the Sharks have. Although they are a great team, most of their players are very young and have a very bright future.

Both teams are awesome, their records prove it but last night could be typical of how the finals might play out if they were to meet and I believe it is because the Sharks are more battle-tested than the Bruins are, right now.