Saturday, May 06, 2006


"Autopsy on a Fish"

Fellows, let's be reasonable, huh? This is not the time or the place to perform some kind of a half-assed autopsy on a fish... And I'm not going to stand here and see that thing cut open and see that little Kintner boy spill out all over the dock!
[Mayor Larry Vaughan]

There is a whole lot of buzz about this Joe Thornton character. Phoff, as only one example, has even stated that stopping big Joe is the " . . . key to the series. If Pronger, and the other Oiler players can shut down Thornton, they stand a chance."

If that's the truth, then I'm not terribly worried. Hell, I'm pleased. Just like Datsyuk in Detroit, JT shuts himself down come playoff time -- especially when the ole "MVP" talk starts to heat up. Let's check his recent playoff numbers:

2003-2004: 7GP - 0-0-0
2002-2003: 5GP - 1-2-3
2001-2002: 6GP - 2-4-6
1998-1999: 11GP - 3-6-9
1997-1998: 6GP - 0-0-0

Heck, even against a backup goaltender and a decimated Preds D he failed to score a goal in 5 games. It's not hard to see why; over his career he has averaged fewer than 2 shots per game in the playoffs, and we all know what happens when scorers fail to shoot.

Nah, I'm not worried about Thornton. Pronger, Staois, etc., will shut him down if he doesn't do it himself first. As Vic at IoF notes, the real question is "Can the Stoll Line go Toe to Toe with Marleau's Line."

It looks to me like the Oil have the advantage on the back end and in net, but that San Jose has some pretty good scorers. In other words, it looks an awful lot like the last series. Calculator has all the numbers, and they pretty much confirm that the two teams are pretty well matched and it is going to be a heckuva series.

Conditioning might also play a factor as the Eggheads at the NHL head office again gave Edmonton a bizarre schedule -- back to back Sunday/Monday games, and three games in four nights. I'm not sure what to think of this. Detroit seemed to have more jump than Edmonton in the OT periods, but in the short-rest afternoon games, Edmonton ran the show.

Prediction: Edmonton in 6, with the same formula as last round. Lots of Dvorak scoring, split in San Jose, split at home, win back to back in San Jose and Edmonton to close it out.

Addendum: From the same IoF post linked above, I love Vic's new verb: phaneufed - to be kept away from the other team's star players.

That's gold, baby.

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