Work in Sports
Users belive Sharks may be sunk by Stars
Posted: Tuesday May 02, 2000 10:47 PM
The eight-seeded San Jose Sharks were talented enough to skate past the top-seeded Blues in the opening series of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. But many CNNSI.com users think they may not have enough gas to get past the defending champion Dallas sharks. But users expect an exciting series that if it involves too many mistakes by the Stars could yield another upset for San Jose. A collection of some of our users' most interesting responses follows:
Let's face it, the Stars just may be too much for the Sharks to handle. Our leading scorer is out, and without him it will be tough to get past Dallas' suffocating defense. On top of that, they have a goalie who isn't human? He reminds me of that guy in Buffalo. Our only hope is to get Nolan back and pray that the Stars forget how to play their brand of hockey for the next two weeks, or this series won't last the week.
The Sharks are full of eating their prey and now they will fall to the Stars. The Stars will shine over the sharks and take a mesmerizing series win, leaving the Sharks in a tailspin!
San Jose has two choices... Find their second wind against a very dominant Stars team or start planning their summer vacations a few weeks earlier. The Sharks certainly have an uphill claim. Not impossible, but the question here is, will San Jose have enough gas in their tanks to keep up? I feel that the Blues took a toll on the Sharks both physically and mentally. San Jose still has the emotional drive, but emotions won't be enough against Dallas. Go Stars!
Although San Jose is the eighth seed in the playoffs, they have played as well as any other team. They are determined and don't let anything stand in their way, whether it is on the ice or off. If they play with their heart, San Jose will be able to go past the Stars easily. They must capitalize on all the mistakes Dallas makes just like they did against St. Louis. I believe Dallas should be feeling the pressure because they are going to be facing elimination by a good team.
It's the NHL playoffs and you can't count anyone out (ask St Louis). If the young Sharks can continue to follow the lead of the gritty Shark veterans they can pull another upset. Dallas will feel the loss of Pat Verbeek. The Sharks are learning to win and are building confidence. This will be a six or seven game series. The team with more grit will win. Hatcher is not as good as Pronger at passing out of the defensive zone to start the transition game and they don't have Al back there blasting away. Instead of looking for what St. Louis did wrong, give the Sharks some credit. The Sharks in six!
San Jose will have to get physical once again if they want to keep their Stanley Cup dream alive for another round. Expect the Sharks to go after Derian Hatcher among others in an attempt to capitalize on retaliatory penalties much the same way they did with Chris Pronger. And, of course, San Jose's knee surgeon on ice, Bryan Marchment, will be up to his old tricks. This strategy worked with St. Louis -- it won't with Dallas. Ken Hitchcock has an uncanny ability to keep his team focused even under the worst of circumstances. Stars in six.
I think there will be many people who look at the season series (4-2 Sharks) and the fact that they beat the Blues and think the Stars are done. I don't think so! I am a big time Dallas fan who is worried at how much trouble San Jose is for Dallas. However, the regular season is just the regular season. Dallas is a team who went through the growing pains that all Stanley Cup champions go through (remember when they lost to Edmonton in 1997). They know how to win and I don't think that can be overlooked. Will it be easy? NO! But the Stars should have enough to get to the West Finals. If I was a professional hockey-type writer I would say, not listening to my heart going only on the facts remember, Stars in six. Will they win the Cup? Do you even need to ask?
It's about time the West Coast got some respect. We do have some athletic talent here, i.e. 49ers, Lakers. One thing forgotten so soon is the first half of the regular season, the Sharks were leading, or nearly leading many major stats. Nolan was in the hunt to the end for the scoring title. San Jose led the Pacific Division, they nearly tied a league high road-victory record. This Jeckle/Hyde team is just beginning to finally find itself. The playoffs do that to some teams. Why should the Sharks be any different. They have three players who have previously hoisted the Cup, and know the difference between regular season and p(l)ay-off time.
OK, I could sit here and lie to you and tell you I thought the Sharks could take the Blues. In reality, it was the only series I expected to be over in four games. However, I give the edge to the Sharks in this series, not because they were 4-2 against Dallas this season, but because the Sharks' system works against teams like the Stars. Dallas has had a tendency to get knocked off their game all season long. Here's another reality: when the Sharks play their game their way, they win. And the Sharks are getting their game down.
I would find it hard to place any pressure at all on an eight-seeded team. Not to take anything away from a very gritty San Jose team, but they will remain underdogs for this series. The pressure lies squarely on the defending champion's shoulders. Granted there is MORE pressure now for San Jose to succeed since they have gathered some success. The fans should expect more. I think a younger Shark team will not react to the new pressure placed on them as well as the veteran Dallas team will handle the pressure of "being able to knock out the weaker team."
I think the sharks are better than their regular season indicates. Having been a fan from day one and having watched at least 60 games a year and going to a couple every year, I can honestly say they are better than they were last year, and vastly improved from the last time we played Dallas in the playoffs. Remember it took Dallas six games then and Kerry Frazier handed them one of those games. Also, the only team that really dominated us this year was St. Louis and we all know what happened there.
San Jose is a team that has nothing to lose which makes them very dangerous. They still have to be considered massive underdogs based on the final season standings. But they play a very tough and gritty style of hockey which gives everyone a hard time and Dallas knows very well what the sharks can do. If San Jose can keep the games close and steal one in Dallas then watch out for another upset. GO SHARKS!
Obviously the pressure is on the Dallas Stars. Having won the Cup a year ago, fans don't expect less than the best. San Jose is in a good position because they have nothing to lose. However, the Sharks do not match up well against the Stars. Now 100% healthy, the Stars will have explosive players on almost every Line, where as the Sharks only have one real explosive player. Defense and goaltending will also favor the Stars. If the Sharks are going to have a chance to pull off another upset, they're going to have to lure Dallas into making mistakes, which is very possible considering the Stars' hatred towards Marchment. If the Sharks can capitalize on the Stars' mistakes, they can win. If not ... Stars in four or five.