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Praise For Pavel, Sharks Questions, Boston/Tampa

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New Puck Daddy: A tribute to Pavel Datsyuk. This was quite fun to write, I think you’ll enjoy it (unless you’ve somehow found a way to dislike Pavel Datsyuk, in which case you need your head rearranged.)

*****

It’s game seven day, hurray!

Prior to the series, I picked the Wings.  Since then, I’ve been all over the map trying to figure these two teams out.  After game three it was a matter of explaining to myself why the Sharks are so damn good.  It was a fairly easy sell – after the team’s talented ”big three,” guys like Couture, Setoguchi, Pavelski and Clowe are terrific “secondary” scorers some teams would be happy to call their top guys.

Solid second round for the kid so far.

And now I find myself having to figure out why aren’t the Sharks a better team, because it was so easy to convince myself they were in cruise control.

Marleau has taken his lumps since Roenick shone the bright light of TV on him, and deservedly so.  But it has to go deeper than one players failings (when you have like, six guys that are expected to produce offensively, it’s inevitable one or two might not tear it up, there’s only so much puck do go around).

I dunno, it’s fairly bizarre.  Interesting to see what happens if they find a way to not advance tonight.  But, winning heals everything, and a clean slate with a conference finals boost would certain cauterize any wounds.

*****

It’s almost time for Tampa Bay/Boston to fire up their Eastern Conference final, so some thoughts on that:

For starters, I think it really hurts Boston that they’ll be without Patrice Bergeron – I’ve lauded praise on their offensive depth in the past (while at the same time pointed out they don’t really have a stud), but it’s in the faceoff circle and the d-zone that his absence will be felt.

I predict a five point series for Kabernet

By the way, thought that just popped into my head before I carry on: Tampa has four (three for sure) players who would be the top offensive player on Boston (if Simon Gagne were healthy), and the Bruins outscored them as a team this year.  Describes how they go about business nicely I think.

Anyway, without Bergeron, the series gets tighter.  Tampa looked to be in machine mode against Washington on top of that, and there’s reason to believe that with the ever-underrated Dwayne Roloson in net, that they should be able to give the Bruins fits.

That said, I think it’s Boston’s time.  This team suffered through a playoff collapse last year and desperately patched the holes before trade deadline, which I think they accomplished nicely.

Here’s a big secret too: Tomas Kaberle doesn’t suck.  He’s not going to struggle like this forever, meaning it can only get better for him (the way it got better for Lucic after a slow first round).  He hasn’t played at playoff pace in awhile, give him a hot sec.

It’s going to be a battle, but in the end, my money is on the B’s.  I’ll say it goes seven, just to demonstrate how serious I am about it not being a walk for them. 

It should be a fun series, things are shaping up nicely for the matchups!

Comments

7 Responses to “Praise For Pavel, Sharks Questions, Boston/Tampa”
  1. Andrew says:

    Datsyuk is an absolute enigma. The league’s other top players are noticeable when they are on their game. As you mentioned, Ovechkin puts his foot on the gas all the time and flies all over the ice. Even the less aggressive players stand-out for entire shifts. Crosby, Toews, Stamkos, you always know when they’re out there.

    Datsyuk somehow seems to be at his best when you hardly notice him. He finds open space, sneaks in behind players, sleekly steals the puck, makes a great pass all without drawing tons of attention to himself. Usually it’s only on replays that you can see what a great play he made.

    No one gets 2 or 3 points in a game more quietly than Datsyuk.

    I’ll equate it to golf, because that’s what I know. He’s like a very steady golfer that never does anything downright spectacular, but never has a bad hole. The kind of guy that you can watch him play, assess that he’s playing decently and then you add it up at the end and he shot a very quiet 67.

    That’s Datsyuk. You don’t necessarily notice every little great play he makes, but when the third period ends he was usually the best player on the ice.

  2. jc says:

    Another guy that I thought you’d reset when it comes to being a 2 way monster with low PIM’s is Butch Goring. I can’t find the reference, but I believe he was nominated for the Byng quite a few times only winning it once. And I’m probably mistaken, but I also seem to remember him being nominated for the Selke a few times as well, although he never won that award. And you can’t argue a Conn Smyth and 4 Cups. Maybe not Datsyukian in artistry, but definitely in clean, 2 way play that resulted in multiple championships.

  3. Sherry says:

    Sent the link to your Ode to P Datty to my RW fan – Subject line: Bourne’s new boyfriend. :)

  4. Dave K says:

    I blame Roenick for the Wings losing. As a former Blackhawk, he should clearly hate the Wings. And since he called Marleau “gutless”, the Marleau gets the game winner in 7, I can clearly see that basically it’s all Roenick’s fault.

  5. Joe G. says:

    Justin, what do you think about the Grabner signing? What the hell was Tallon thinking trying to squeeze him through waivers? Good for the Islanders.

  6. John says:

    I agree with you about Datsyuk, it is impossible not to enjoy watching him play the game. But on a more relevant (to me) topic, I hope you are wrong about the Eastern Conference Finals — Go Lightning!

  7. Nick says:

    I hope you’re right about Kaberle… otherwise that trade bit Boston in the butt hardcore. I think Leafs fans are a little too excited about Colborne, but him AND a firstie? For a guy who occasionally makes a nice pass and could maybe cut the mustard as a top 4 Dman so far? Ouch.

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