San Jose Sharks vs. Chicago Blackhawks: NHL Western Conference Final Preview

May 16th, 2010 by Benjamin Benya Leave a reply »
The wacky Western Conference was statistically superior to the East all season long. Several teams finished with surprising playoff berths while several others lost their identities. But in the end, the top two dogs all year emerged for one final showdown for West supremacy.

No. 1 San Jose Sharks vs. No. 2 Chicago Blackhawks

Storyline: San Jose struck through the Red Wings and appear to have finally shaken off the playoff woes, but if any team knows about Cup demons, it is their Western Conference Finals opponents, the Chicago Blackhawks.

Offense: For over a decade, fans of Joe Thornton have waited patiently for him to show the brilliance of the regular season during the playoffs. And to this year, he had always let them down. Thornton’s eight points in five games against the Red Wings were a deciding factor in San Jose’s newfound confidence. Thornton’s offense is opening up at just the right down, and what’s more, he’s shooting the puck with less restraint than ever.

Both Dany Heatley and potential-UFA Patrick Marleau finally awoke from their slumber against the Red Wings, combining for 11 points. Heatley alone had five ...

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