Strung Up From The Sky: Sharks at Hawks Game 3 Preview/Pregame Thread/Rain Song
TV/RADIO: VS. (Yanks), TSN (Hosers), WIND-560am
Shark's Siren: Fear The Fin
The Hawks are up two games before the series' conclusion for the second time this postseason. Hopefully they learned the lesson from the first time, when they sort of "meh"-ed it in Game 5 against the Nucks. I don't care if they stay in a hotel or a brothel or a hostel or in an alley, just come out flying like the Sharks have done in Games 1 and 2. We'll see if Nabokov can stand tall the way Niemi has done. Put this team down early, let's see what's really between their ears. Much has been made of their recovery of Boyle's own goal in Game 3 against the Lanche, but remember Game 4 went to OT and really could have gone either way. I'm still not convinced of this supposed new-found playoff stones the Sharks claim they have. I have to see it first.
Rumor has it the Sharks are going to jumble up their Top-6. To me, it doesn't matter, If you get away from Bolland, Toews is not a picnic. Hossa is going to be a pain the prostate for whoever he faces. Campbell and Hjalmarsson have gone unnoticed so far because Seabrook and Keith have been so good, but they're not far behind. So who is it Todd McLellan is trying to exploit? Who's he trying to get going? Heatley may be hurt and needs someone to set his chances up, who other than Thornton will do that? And is Thornton going to do that anyway?
The Sharks, whatever lineup they sport, need to do two things. One, crash the crease like they want to. There have been rebounds there, but the Hawks are first to them. In fact, the Hawks are first to every loose puck it seems. Maybe it's just the greater speed the Hawks have, maybe it's greater want-to. Secondly, the Sharks should ramp up their forecheck. They've let the Hawks out of their zone far too easily, and letting the Hawks gather up steam is slitting your own wrists. Either trap, or bring it all the way and try and hammer them behind their net. Pick one, but you can't be in between.
As for the Hawks...uh....more of the same please.
Stranglehold will be played when the Hawks hit the ice. Win tonight, and we'll play it after they leave it too.