San Jose couldn’t beat the Blues once during the regular season and didn’t show any sign of turn-around in their last match-up in early March. The Sharks lost 1-3 and were shutout in the two games previous to their last one.
Martin Havlat pulled it out though with two goals including the game-winner in a second overtime for a 3-2 San Jose win. Not only was that San Jose’s first win against St. Louis but it was also the first time since the two teams first meeting of the season in which the Sharks scored two goals or in this case three.
Both of Havlat’s goals were assisted by left-winger Ryane Clowe. These two line mates had some success during the regular season and could be the dynamic duo that puts San Jose deeper into the post-season.
The Sharks won’t win this series if they try to take on the Blues in a goalie or defensive battle though. So if they can keep their offense just a hair better than the Blues then they can improve their odds of moving forward.
Patrick Marleau is leading the Sharks franchise in playoff goals. He has appeared in 125 playoff games as a Shark scoring 52 goals and notching an additional 36 assists. Marleau isn’t having one of his hotter seasons putting up less than 70 points for only the second time in the last seven years but is still a force to reckon with.
If he can get out of his season long slump the Sharks should be able to outscore the Blues with little problem.
Joe Thornton also has an impressive playoff record with San Jose. He has only 12 goals but a whopping 52 assists in 75 playoff games. He is a great playmaker for the team and as long as he can get the puck into the hands of the right man the goals will come.
San Jose has one of the best offensive cores in the National Hockey League. It is hard to believe that it wound down to the last couple games for them to secure a playoff position but hopefully the rut that some of these once reliable star forwards are in have found their way out.
St. Louis isn’t going to be easy no matter how well the offense does. The Sharks can do everything right and still get stone-walled by one of the league’s hottest goaltenders Jaroslav Halak of St. Louis. It will be a matchup of who can counter act on the others mistakes to decide the game final.