Mar 26, 2012, 9:19 PM EDT
The St. Louis Blues seem safely in control of the Central Division lead – and the first or second seed that should come with it – so you can forgive people for imagining potential first round opponents. Any number of interesting Western Conference opponents are plausible,* but former player Terry Yake picked on the San Jose Sharks as a particularly beatable potential draw:
A matchup to avoid
Personally, the Kings seem like a nightmare matchup for the Blues because – in many ways – they bring many of the same strengths to the table. Each squad might not score a lot but has some solid offensive talent (Los Angeles has a higher ceiling, the Blues have superior depth), both boast strong defensive structures and daunting goalie duos.
Sizing up the Sharks
The Sharks, on the other hand, carry uneven characteristics but shouldn’t be totally dismissed. (Not with that high-end talent on hand nor a respectable +10 goal differential despite a shaky record.)
Those age-old Washington Capitals-like criticisms about “heart” and “choking” do indeed make the Sharks an easy target for prognosticators, however, and this season hasn’t provided their best work. That’s especially true against the Blues; St. Louis swept the season series with an 8-1 total score, so perhaps that’s a big part of “Yake’s take.”
With all that in mind, do you think that San Jose be the best possible draw for the Blues or would they be lucky to get a different seventh or eighth seed opponent?
* – If the Blues draw a first or second seed, they could face any one of Dallas, Phoenix, San Jose, Los Angeles, Colorado or even Calgary depending upon how the stretch run goes.
- Sharks beat Kings in OT, take 3-0 stranglehold on series 38
- Rangers chase Emery, top Flyers for 2-1 series lead 53
- Bruins dominate Red Wings, take 2-1 series lead 42
- And then there were 15: Lightning eliminated 75
- WATCH LIVE: San Jose Sharks at Los Angeles Kings (Game 3) 2
- Bettman says shootouts are staying, gives salary cap estimate 34
- Video: Yeo asked if Cooke told to ‘target’ Avs, does not like question 46
- On Matt Cooke and whether he’s a ‘repeat offender’ 59
- Marleau, O’Reilly and St. Louis named Lady Byng finalists 20
- Zuccarello: ‘I’m not a diver’ 50
- Video: Seabrook ejected for charging Backes; will face hearing (update) (153)
- Bad luck strikes twice: Lightning goal waved off, Stamkos takes knee to head (127)
- Keith doesn’t remember if he taunted Backes after Seabrook hit (125)
- Video: Lucic spears DeKeyser from behind (118)
- Flyers want to ‘punish’ McDonagh (113)