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The Invincible M.A.E.


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Sharks
harleymae

Not thinking about the Sharks

I feel very sad for the teams that were really great for most of the season then flamed out in the playoffs for some reason or the other. Specifically the Rangers, Predators and Stars. Perhaps sad isn't the right word, because I'm certainly not sad for the Predators as they are a dirty, dirty team that goes around injuring people on other teams in sneaky, underhanded ways. :P More like, I think it's a shame.

The Red Wings are not on the list because I never saw any true greatness from them, no matter how many games they won. Refs are kinder to certain teams in the regular season and that's a handy thing to have when you have a great power play.

The Preds lost their series before the playoffs even started when they lost Vokoun. Blah, blah, Mason is an adequate goalie. The Preds aren't good enough with an adequate goalie, they need an exceptional one like Vokoun. To make things worse, they lost Zidlicky and Sullivan, and although both guys played against the Sharks, they weren't at 100%. Good fortune for the Sharks, although they did earn their #5 seed by winning 7 games in a row when it mattered.

The Stars... man, that team was so good when they were on. What do you do, though? How do you motivate guys to keep playing at their best when it's going to have no effect on the standings? What if playing hard led to an injury? So sad to see them basically repeat what happened last season.

I wouldn't say that the Rangers broke my heart, exactly, because although I enjoyed watching them play and quite liked their players, it never became love. But it was amazing to see how strong they were defensively, and to see Lundqvist put in excellent performances on a consistent basis. All the attention was on Jaromir Jagr and how great he was making the team a winning team and being the MVP of the team, but... you know what? His team was the MVP for him. :P

His team provided him the support and foundation to go out and be the incredible player that he is, and not the other way around. Lundqvist did his part by giving great goaltending. The grinders did their job by wearing down other teams and doing great defensive work. The defensemen I guess were uhh, well, not sucky defensively. ;) And he had his playmakers to allow him to perform his best.

Unfortunately, by getting rid of Nieminen and picking up Ozolinsh, I think they putzed with the strength of the team, i.e. the defense. And Lundqvist got injured which was a huge deal. That's why they played so badly down the stretch. Jagr didn't have his foundation anymore. They need to make some moves in the off-season to fix it.