May 24, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT
This San Jose Sharks team has excelled in many ways that people rarely associate with their franchise. They avoided coughing up a 3-0 series lead against the Detroit Red Wings even if every game of the series was a nail-biter. The Sharks completed one of the best comebacks in playoff history against the Los Angeles Kings before gutting out a 4-2 series win. In a nutshell, this is a team Sharks fans should be proud of.
It’s quite possible that they met their match in the Vancouver Canucks, though. A lot of people want to say that the Sharks are choking, but that ignores the fact that the Canucks were far and away the best team in the NHL this season. Can you really choke if the other team is just better?
There are a few Sharks players who need to produce better results, though. Dany Heatley has been virtually invisible, a tough thing to stomach considering his $7.5 million annual salary cap hit. What might be more disturbing is the struggles of Joe Pavelski, who was a playoff hero in 2010.
Meanwhile, the Canucks are enjoying the benefits of the Sedin twins receiving some easier matchups than the previous two rounds. Henrik Sedin generated four assists in Game 4 while his brother Daniel had three of his own. That explosive performance placed Henrik alone atop the list of 2011 playoff scorers with 19 points.
Win or lose, we’ll find out something about these two teams in Game 5 (starting at 9 p.m. ET on Versus). Jeremy Roenick and Keith Jones provide their takes on this contest in the Hockey Central preview below.
- WATCH LIVE: Minnesota Wild at Colorado Avalanche (Game 2) 0
- WATCH LIVE: Columbus Blue Jackets at Pittsburgh Penguins (Game 2) 4
- Blues come back to stun Blackhawks 4-3 in overtime, take 2-0 series lead 30
- Video: Seabrook ejected for charging Backes; Blues tie it up in waning moments 92
- WATCH LIVE: Chicago Blackhawks at St. Louis Blues (Game 2) 4
- Flyers’ Mason out of Game 2, Emery to start again 48
- Lucic fined $5,000 for spearing DeKeyser 76
- Getzlaf powers Ducks to Game 2 victory, 2-0 series lead over Stars 7
- Video: Lucic spears DeKeyser from behind 115
- Detroit stuns favored Bruins with late goal to take Game 1 63