The San Jose Sharks don’t care that so many people are picking them to lose to the Los Angeles Kings.
“Why are they picking L.A.? Because they won the Cup two years ago and beat us last year, I guess,” d-man Marc-Edouard Vlasic said, accurately, per ESPN.com. “People can pick who they want. We don’t care. It’s an evenly matched series. Last year went to seven [games], and this year I would expect the same. I don’t mind if everybody picks L.A. I’m here to win. We want to prove to ourselves that we can beat all the best teams.”
In reality, not “everybody” is picking the Kings. PHT staffers are split on the series, and online bookmaker Bovada actually made the higher-seeded Sharks, holders of home-ice advantage, a -145 favorite.
Last year, the home side won all seven games of the teams’ second-round series. This past regular season, San Jose’s 29-7-5 home record was the best in the West.
Still, there remains a feeling — one based largely on the club’s history of postseason disappointments — that the Sharks don’t have what it takes to go all the way.
Defenseman Dan Boyle has heard that theory many times from reporters.
“The only way to shut you guys up is to win it,” he said.
When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.
With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).
As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.
Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.
Kane also tied Denis Savard (1985-86) for second-longest streak in Chicago history. Bobby Hull had a 21-game streak.