by Mike Chen on 04/13/09 at 04:56 PM ET
Since I’ve joined KK, I’ve tried to keep most of my posts more general while shifting my Sharks stuff over to the Battle of California blog. Well, now that we actually have a Battle of California, here’s my shameless plug to point you guys over to the unique wackiness going on there. If you’ve never visited, here’s a little snippet of the current playoff preview posts, though much more will be coming in the next few days—including those famous Earl Sleek cartoons.
Three years ago, the Sharks and Ducks each had home ice in the second round, and each were leading their series two-games-to-none (which prompted James Mirtle to start this blog to offset an already-popular Battle of Alberta). Had the Sharks not then lost four straight games to the eighth-seeded Oilers, the BoC would have occurred in the WCF that spring; instead the Pronger-Oilers knocked out both clubs. Two years ago, the Sharks and Ducks were also one round away from meeting—the Ducks were in the process of eliminating Vancouver in the second round and the Sharks had a one-game-to-none lead over the Red Wings. Detroit stormed back and prevented a WCF BoC, but the Ducks kept winning en route to California’s first Stanley Cup. Last spring was Anaheim’s chance to blow it—in the first round against the Dallas Stars they dropped their first two games at home and couldn’t recover, and instead of a second-round BoC the Stars also upset the Sharks. Three legitimate chances for a postseason BoC, and three instances where one of the teams failed to deliver and “get there”.
So this year, it seems, Anaheim and San Jose left nothing to chance. While the Sharks fended off the Wings and the Bruins for the President’s Trophy all season, the Ducks swallowed their talent and surgically divebombed their way down to the 8th seed. (By design? Hardly, but it matters little now.)
Here are my predicted over/under values for the series. This can, of course, also double as a drinking game. Sip a beer if your team is winning, take a shot if your team is losing.
Bad Rob Blake holding penalties: 8
Chris Pronger elbows: 42
Called Chris Pronger elbows: 2
Corey Perry/Evgeni Nabokov run-ins: 33
Corey Perry goaltender interference penalties: 0
Periods before refs put away the whistles and lose control of the series: 1
George Parros/Jody Shelley fights: 1
BoC also has Kings coverage (though that’s pushed down the priority list over the next two weeks) and some great on-ice photos from Sharkspage’s PJ Swenson. Oh, if you’re offended by cartoon versions of states abusing each other in a prison-style rape scene...um…this blog isn’t for you.
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