Wes Goldstein's Take
The Sharks will win if: They don't let the ghosts of playoffs past get to them. That might be easier said than done, particularly against an intimidating opponent like Detroit. A big series from goalie Evgeni Nabokov wouldn't hurt, but even beter would be finding a way to get the big line of Joe Thornton , Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley on track. They were dominant during the regular season, but combined for one goal against Colorado and were all minus players.
The Red Wings will win if: If they keep doing what they have been for the last two months, which is dictate the pace and flow of their games. The Red Wings have been nearly unbeatable since the Olympic break, and they came into the playoffs healthy and better rested than in years past. It is a cliché to say a team's best players have to be their best players at this time of year. Detroit's tend to be exactly that, and judging by the way things went against Phoenix, they should be the same against San Jose. Sharks player might take note.
How They Got Here
San Jose: Defeated the Colorado Avalanche, 4-2, in the Western Conference Quarterfinals ... Finished the regular season with a 51-20-11 record for 113 points (1st, Pacific Division)
Detroit: Defeated the Phoenix Coyotes, 4-3, in the Western Conference Quarterfinals ... Finished the regular season with a 44-24-14 record for 102 points (2nd, Central Division)
|April 29||at San Jose||9 p.m.
|May 2||at San Jose||8 p.m.
|May 4||at Detroit||7:30 p.m.
|May 6||at Detroit||7:30 p.m.
|May 8||at San Jose *||10:30 p.m.
|May 10||at Detroit *||7:30 p.m.
|May 12||at San Jose *||TBA
|* if necessary|
|Detroit wins, 3-1|
|Nov. 5||Detroit 2, San Jose 1 (SO)||Recap|
|Jan. 9||Detroit 4, San Jose 1||Recap|
|Feb. 2||Detroit 4, San Jose 2||Recap|
|Feb. 11||San Jose 3, Detroit 2 (SO)||Recap|
|Stats Comparison (through Round 1)|
|Goals For (Avg.)||3.17||3.71|
|Goals Against (Avg.)||1.83||2.57|