May 15, 2011RATTOARCHIVESHARKS PAGE SHARKS VIDEONHLPAGE VANCOUVERPAGESERIESSCHEDULERay Ratto
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- San Joses world of extra experience in the Western Conference Finals is four games and 65 percent worth, give or take -- which of course makes little enough difference to and for the Vancouver Canucks.
Always when you go back in time, you can get that, Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said, referencing the four consecutive losses they endured in last years conference final to Chicago. You guysll go back to 1984 (actually, 1982 for the first Vancouver Stanley Cup Final), and half their team hadnt been born yet (actually, most of it, which well get to in a moment), but its different now. Sixty-five percent of our team wasnt (in last years conference final). Experience starts after Game 1.
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For uselessly informational purposes only, those Canucks who predate the 1982 final against the New York Islanders, even if only post-natally, are goalie Roberto Luongo, defensemen Andrew Alberts, Kevin Bieksa and Sami Salo, and forwards Alexandre Burrows, Mikael Samuelsson, Raffi Torres and the Sedin twins, who only seem like they started in the mid-1950s.
To that end, the Sharks actually have only 20 percent of untested players if you decide that Antti Niemi and Ben Eager (a) are of the core 20 and (b) their experience with the Blackhawks didnt count. In fact, the only Sharks who werent involved in last years postseason are defenseman Ian White, and wings Kyle Wellwood, Benn Ferriero and Jamal Mayers.
McLellan is right, though, in saying that last years experience was not only brief but only goes a bit toward this series, and that the link is actually through Detroit.
Detroit has had a large impact on a lot of teams, he said, remaining loyal to his own roots on Team Babcock. Our style, the building of the team, I believe its affected our team. And I think its affected what Vancouver has done as well. I think theyre built a little differently, theyre a little stronger (than the Red Wings), theyll run through you a little more . . . Detroit protects the puck very well, but basically our power play and penalty kills are similar, and we approach the game the same way.
Until tonight, when events render everything you have heard and read a bit of a lie. You know, like the way every series plays out.