Tag: game previews

San Jose Sharks v Vancouver Canucks - Game Two

Ben Eager is expected to play for Sharks in Game 3

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It doesn’t look like the NHL will suspend San Jose Sharks troublemaker Ben Eager for his antics in Game 2, including a questionable hit on Vancouver Canucks star Daniel Sedin. That allows the Sharks to keep him in the mix tonight … but should they?

Eric Duhatschek reports that the Sharks are likely to keep Eager in their lineup in Game 3, even after his Game 2 meltdown helped trigger a disastrous third period for San Jose. In grand goon tradition, Eager had about twice as many penalty minutes (20) as he had time on ice (10:59) in that contest. Sure, he scored a goal, but that was after he drew the ire of both teams with some knucklehead play.

It looks like he hasn’t lost the respect of his coach Todd McLellan, though. Duhatschek points out that Eager’s role has expanded against a more physically demanding series against the Vancouver Canucks after playing against a more finesse-based team in the Detroit Red Wings. McLellan went as far as to call Eager one of the team’s better players (at least in a couple areas).

“I thought Ben Eager was one of our better players as far as the fore-check and creating scoring opportunities,” McLellan was saying Thursday. “He had a number of shots on goal. He played with an energy and passion required of him.

“He took penalties that he cannot take. Is he an asset or a liability? He was both last night. If we can limit the liability part, then we’ve got one heck of a player.”

If nothing else, it would be difficult for Eager to be more of a liability in Game 3 than he was in Game 2. The Sharks better hope not, or they might face the prospect of a second consecutive sweep from the Western Conference finals.

Your one-stop source for Sharks-Canucks Game 2 content

Antti Niemi

Tonight’s Game 2 matchup between the San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks could tell us a lot about this series. Sure, the Sharks won’t be totally dead if they went down 2-0 since they play the next two games in San Jose. That being said, a Sharks victory would greatly increase the chances of a lengthy series between these two talented teams.

San Jose @ Vancouver (Versus) – 9 p.m. ET; Canucks lead series 1-0

Before we delve into the multitude of sparkling PHT material on the game, here are a few more bits about the Canucks and Sharks. First things first, Jeff Tambellini will replace Tanner Glass on Vancouver’s fourth line. Lastly, the Sporting News named Daniel Sedin their player of the year and NHL.com looks at the questions for both teams going into Game 2.

OK, now that we took care of some housekeeping, check out these posts.

Sharks coach Todd McLellan is ‘massaging minds’ going into Game 2

Stanley Cup Western Conference Finals - Practice
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The San Jose Sharks seemed to run out of gas during the third period against the Vancouver Canucks in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals. That being said, it wasn’t like the Sharks were absolutely trampled in that contest. The Canucks earned a 3-2 win after scoring twice in rapid succession in that final frame, but a one-goal loss is something the Sharks have dealt with quite a bit lately.

Then again, when you get this far in the playoffs, each win and loss often comes down to which team fights a bit more for loose pucks and comes out on top in board battles. It seemed like the Canucks were the ones winning a lot of those “50/50 battles” on Sunday night, but the Sharks hope to play a better all-around game tonight (at 9 p.m. ET on Versus).

Small – yet crucial – improvements seemed to be what Sharks coach Todd McLellan was preaching about today. He told CSN’s Tim Panaccio that he isn’t asking for huge improvements from players, just small ones that could make all the difference.

“We’ve massaged the mind,” Dr. Todd said. “We’ve held them accountable.  We’ve tried to help them. I talked to some of the skaters on the ice obviously today as they were roaming around. They all felt pretty good, refreshed.  I expect us to be immensely better.”


“At this time of the year, you always hear us talk, the team that loses says, ‘We’ve got to be better, work harder,’” McLellan said.  “It’s not this much, it’s only that much.  We’ve got to convince the players of that. We’re not asking you to be 10 or 15 percent better, we’re asking you to be 1 percent better. Sometimes that’s all you need.”


“If I talk to Devin Setoguchi, for example, and pull him in and ask him to do a few things better, it’s not a big gap.  He’s done it before. It’s just a small gap that he has to close.

“That’s what I mean by convincing them. Getting them to understand that they’re not going to be asked to do something they haven’t done before. They’re only going to do what they’re doing and do it better and longer, if that makes any sense at all.”

People say that playoff hockey can come down to funky bounces, but there’s some truth to the sentiment that you “make your own bounces” too. The Sharks eventually stopped doing that in Game 1. If they hope to avoid heading back to San Jose down 2-0, they need to win more of those legitimate little battles. Even if making that little improvement is a lot tougher than it sounds.

Video: Versus previews Game 2 of Sharks-Canucks

San Jose Sharks v Vancouver Canucks - Game One

The Vancouver Canucks managed to take care of business against the San Jose Sharks in Game 1, but it wasn’t easy. In fact, it was basically the type of game many of us expected: tight-checking yet exciting, if a little bit messy at times. (We’re looking at you, Roberto Luongo.)

After falling behind by a goal in both the first and second periods, the Canucks eventually overwhelmed the Sharks in the third. Out of the final 28 shots, Vancouver sent 21 in Antti Niemi’s direction. People will probably look at the outcome in two different ways: either the Canucks wore down their opponents or San Jose ran out of gas thanks to that seven-game series against the Detroit Red Wings.

Fatigue won’t be a great excuse in Game 2 since the Sharks and Canucks received an extra night off (Game 1 was on Sunday). Want a primer on tonight’s contest, which takes place on Versus at 9 p.m.? Check out what the Hockey Central gang has to say about it in the video below.

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Video: Hockey Central previews Lightning-Bruins Game 2

Dwayne Roloson, Brett Clark

The Tampa Bay Lightning ran away with Game 1 midway through the first period when they scored three goals in less than 90 seconds. One can only imagine the baffling quantity of lightning strikes thrice puns that littered Twitter and other areas of the Internet when this occurred.

The Bolts ended up beating the Boston Bruins 5-2 even though the team’s top stars didn’t do much damage. That must be a harrowing thought for the Bruins, who simply must get better if they want to avoid going down 0-2 at home in another series. (They managed to dig themselves out of a 0-2 hole against the Montreal Canadiens in the first round, but it’s hard to imagine them doing it again.)

Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick break down Game 2 in the video below, pointing out that Dwayne Roloson will likely face a long night while the team in front of him might play a tighter defensive game. Can the Bruins overcome that potentially tougher defense? We’ll see Tuesday on Versus at 8 p.m. ET.

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