Jimmy Howard's save percentage slipped to .919 in the playoffs from .924 regular season while allowing 2.24 goals per game. Nabby, on the other hand, has been great in the playoffs, with a .926 SV% and 1.76 GAA.
The Sharks had a hard time scoring on Anderson at times in the last series, but that is only because the Avalanche were getting in front of every shot it seemed, and Anderson was standing on his head. Goals will come much easier in this next series for the Sharks.
In a battle between two teams that throw a lot of pucks on net, goaltending could very well prove to be the deciding factor.
San Jose's second line accounted for 22 points, nine of the team's 19 goals, and three of the four game winners against the Avalanche.
Clowe-one goal, seven assists
Setoguchi-two goals, four assists
Pavelski (beast)-five goals, three assists (and over 70% on faceoffs)
Our first line has struggled, with only Marleau netting a goal, but they can't stay quiet forever!
Detroit has 11 Stanley Cups under their belts, but the Sharks? Zero. This is our year, and the team is hungry.
A great example of that hunger is when Boyle messed up in Game Three and deflected the game winning goal in. He had that fire in his eyes in Game Four and scored just 72 seconds in. We have already faced some adversity in the first round and overcame it. The Sharks want it more than the Red Wings. We are Mr. T to their Rocky Balboa in Rocky 3 (the first fight).
McLellan is a brilliant coach who knows the Red Wings' system, having been their power-play coach as recent as 2007-2008. He has recognized that the first line is struggling, and might switch them up like he did in Game Five by putting Heatley with Malhotra and Couture. That proved to be a great decision, as we went on to win that game 5-0 with Couture netting two goals.
The Sharks are well-rested, while Detroit is coming off a seven-game series that ended on Tuesday. The first game is crucial for the Sharks, and I believe we can outskate the fatigued Wings and steal it. This series has seven games written all over it, so whoever take the first game is at a huge advantage to win the whole thing.