With the Anaheim Ducks taking Game 1 this past Thurday in San Jose, it is now time for both teams to sink or swim. The Sharks hopes for home-ice advantage went down the drain with their loss to the Ducks.
In the majority of sports, you must have a "hot" team going into the playoffs, and with a change from J.S. Giguere to Jonas Hiller as their goalie, the Ducks are going with their "hot" goalie.
J.S. Giguere might have the playoff experience, but Hiller has guarded the net for the Ducks in the final run entering the playoffs. Hiller has seen play in the World Championships, the Swiss League, won championships, and proven that he can handle the pressure situations in the NHL playoffs.
With the trade deadline moves made by the Ducks, and the Ryan/Perry/Getzlaf (RPG) line playing at the top of their game, the RPG line has become a dominating force that is driving the Ducks' playoff train!
Add in Nokelainen, Christensen, Ebbett, Mikkelson and the return of Beauchemin, and Ducks have a strong team. Francois Beauchemin has helped to strengthen the Ducks defense with his recent return.
Game 1 was a hard-fought game by both teams, with the on-ice officials looking the other way on much of the play, letting the teams go at it.
The Ducks are fortunate to have a deep bench. With Whitney and Wisniewski, they add some punch to the Ducks that matches any other team in the playoffs. The Ducks have always been known for the first line, and both their power play and penalty kill units.
The second game in this series will probably be more important that the first game, especially if you are San Jose.
If the Ducks win the second game, they only have to win two out of the next five possible games, and Sharks must win four out of the next five games.
If the Sharks win, the series will be tied, and San Jose will only have only two home games in the series, and the Ducks will have three, so the Sharks will have to win at least one game in Anaheim to continue in their playoff run.