After there were three sweeps in 2011, only one happened in 2012, when the Kings finished off the Blues in just four games. The San Jose Sharks have a chance to get the first Conference Quarterfinal sweep since the Red Wings shut out the Coyotes in four games in 2011. The Sharks have a 3-0 lead on the Vancouver Canucks, and Vancouver is showed no signs of even being competitive in this one in Game 3, as the Sharks blew them out to the tune of a 5-2 win at the Shark Tank.
So now, with the Sharks having beaten both of the Canucks goaltenders in this series, they have a chance to do what every Stanley Cup Champion since 2010 has done: beat the Vancouver Canucks in a playoff series.
Can Roberto Luongo play as well as he did as a backup in Game 3?
After the Canucks pulled Cory Schneider in Game 3, Bobby Lou came in and made 10 saves on 10 shots. He played, well, like a starting goaltender. One would assume that Vancouver -- after having been completely burned on their goaltending situation again -- will probably go back to Luongo for Game 4. If he plays as well as he did in Game 3, there's no reason to think the Canucks don't have a chance to win.
Will Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski keep leading the Sharks offensively?
Long known as the team of Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle on the offensive side of things, the torch appears to be passing for good to the younger Pavelski and Couture. The two forwards have combined for 12 points (Couture: 3-3-6, Pavelski: 2-4-6) in the first three games. With Marleau and Thornton still playing well, the Sharks appear to have both emerging stars and a great amount of depth on the front end, which will serve them well should they move further.
Is Antii Niemi going to keep playing this well?
Niemi has given up only five goals in three games in this series, never having a lower save percentage than 93 percent in any of the three games against the Canucks. He's still going on fairly unnoticed as far as goaltenders go in this playoffs. He's already got one Stanley Cup ring from the Blackhawks in 2010, and he's playing better now than he did when Chicago won it all. Is this Antii Niemi's time?
Game Time: 10 p.m. ET
National TV: CNBC, TSN, RDS
San Jose TV: CSN California