Well, our own San Jose Sharks are out to a 1-0 lead over the Los Angeles Kings in the quarterfinals of the 2011 NHL Playoffs. That's the good news for Sharks fans in the Bay Area and everywhere else. The bad news is the fact that the teams that the other teams that are favored to be winning and should be winning their games ... are doing so. It's very early, but there's not many first round upsets on the horizon, and it's looking like the teams ahead of San Jose on the betting odds are marching on, up one or two games a piece. There's still plenty of room for upsets to be made, and they obviously cannot overlook the Kings after such a hard-fought overtime win, but for now we'll look at how the other matchups are progressing.
The Canucks are the biggest threat in the whole playoffs, and they're showing it by taking down Chicago twice in a row. Both games have been good, and the Blackhawks didn't look totally lost in game two, which is fortunate for them going forward. As it stands though, the Canucks are favored to win it all and they're showing that. Vegas has the Canucks beating the Sharks in the Western Conference finals. It wouldn't be a total loss if the Blackhawks couldn't mount a comeback though, as defending champions they are one of the most dangerous eight seeds in recent memory. Flashbacks to the Blackhawks sweeping the Sharks in four games of the finals last year come to mind.
Detroit had a dominating win over Phoenix in their first game, and are set to play again tonight. They killed six power plays over the course of the game, and look to be on their way to a series win. The Coyotes were the team that most Sharks fans wanted in the first round .. thinking Detroit continues on their path of destruction.
Neither team has looked bad in this series, and it wouldn't be surprising if it went to seven games. Each has won a game apiece, but the Predators have looked more consistent and dominant in these wins. Most folks consider the Predators as a team to watch out for, as they can be fantastic at their best, so an Anaheim win seems the most desirable.
Most expected Washington to be blowing out the Rangers, but that hasn't been the case thus far. The Capitals are still winning though, by one goal in game one and two goals in the second. The Capitals are just behind the Canucks in Vegas as far as winning the whole thing goes, so the Sharks will be hoping for a Rangers comeback, as will the rest of the teams in the playoffs.
Here's an upset, as the Flyers were heavy favorites to take this one. But both teams played a strong game and the Sabres found themselves scoring first, and that's all it took, a 1-0 victory to go up 1-0 on the series. That will resume tonight in Philly as the Flyers look to even the score.
This one also resumes tonight, and it's also a mild upset. Although, things were supposed to be pretty even in this regard. Montreal's Carey Price came out ahead over Boston's Tim Thomas, in a goalie matchup that will continue to make headlines as the series progresses. They're two of the leagues best, and you can expect at least one more of those shutouts.
The Penguins took the first matchup in dominating fashion, winning a 3-0 shutout, but the Lightning responded on the road with a 5-1 victory of their own, highlighting the fact that this will be a very exciting series. Play resumes on Monday for game three as the teams travel to Tampa Bay.