From Apr. 1-10, ProHockeyTalk will be counting down the Top 10 moments from the 2011 postseason.
Here’s No. 5 — San Jose avoiding an epic collapse to beat Detroit in Game 7, advancing to its second-straight Western Conference final.
After the Vancouver Canucks nearly blew a 3-0 series lead in their opening round matchup with Chicago, most figured it would be a cautionary tale — that the next team to build a seemingly insurmountable lead would learn from Vancouver, and not let the opponent hang around.
The San Jose Sharks didn’t get the memo.
After racing out to a three games to none lead on Detroit in Round 2, the Sharks proceeded to drop three in a row — 4-3, 4-3 and 3-1 — setting up a dramatic Game 7 at HP Pavilion.
Stress the word “dramatic”:
In the end, it was Patrick Marleau scoring the game-winner to push San Jose to its second Western Conference finals in as many years. A fitting hero, given Marleau was called “gutless” by Jeremy Roenick following Game 5.
“For him to end up with the winning goal was pretty special for our team and for him,” coach Todd McLellan said. “I think the monkey may be off his back for the next series. … He was a difference maker tonight.”