Sharks to face Detroit Red Wings in Round 2

April 27, 2011, 4:31 am
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Now that the Sharks fate has been decided, here are five things you need to know about the same old scary Red Wings:SAME OLD FACES, SAME OLD PLACESThe only true differences between these Red Wings and the ones the Sharks beat last year are health and rest. The only real issue is whether Johan Franzen, normally the right wing on the Pavel Datsyuk line, will be available after injuring his ankle during the Phoenix series. Franzen is hugely important to the Wings for both his skill and his flint, and if he cant play, Mike Modano wont be able to replace his game. On the other hand, the rest of the old faces Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Nicklas Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom, Valtteri Filppula, Dan Cleary, Todd Bertuzzi, Justin Abdelkader, Brian Rafalski, Niklas Kronwall and former Shark Brad Stuart.SAME OLD GAMEThey like possession. They like to cycle, they like to outshoot you by a factor of 2-1, they like to clog your net with their people, and they like to win draws in your end, and they like doing this even though you know theyre coming, because theyre also good at all of these things, night in and night out. Sound familiar? Well, Todd McLellan worked for the Wings before he got to San Jose. Draw your own conclusions.RATTO: Sharks need to sharpen game for run at Cup
SAME OLD GOALIEJimmy Howard had a so-so year as the undisputed starter, and his backups, the redoubtable Chris Osgood and Joey MacDonald, saw about 15 percent of the available minutes this year. People have been waiting for that breakout year for awhile now, and this wasnt that year, but the options dont seem to excite head coach Mike Babcock all that much.SAME OLD BRAINIACMike Babcock can do this drill in his sleep, so loaded with familiar faces is he. He is like Todd McLellan, only more animated, and he is matter-of-fact-snarky when answering questions, as he was when someone asked about defenseman Ruslan Saleis injury: He has a boo-boo. Hes done this his way long enough that it has become the players way as well, so he can allow his veterans more rope. If Franzen is healthy, he will have the team he had three years ago, and it will be well rested after routing Phoenix in the first round.THE LINESProbable, as alwaysLEFT WING CENTER RIGHT WINGTomas Holmstrom Pavel Datsyuk Mike Modano
Dan Cleary Henrik Zetterberg Todd Bertuzzi
Valtteri Filppula Justin Abdelkader Jiri Hudler
Kris Draper Darren Helm Patrick EavesDEFENSE
Nicklas Lidstrom Brian Rafalski
Niklas Kronwall Brad Stuart
Jonathan Ericsson Ruslan SaleiGOALIES
Jimmy Howard
Chris Osgood

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