These were supposed to be the Games 7 that were promised. We prayed for a glimpse of heart-stopping elimination games past, but all we saw was a blanket of disappointment.
Game of Thrones references aside, these last two games to close out the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs kind of sucked, didn't they? Sure, maybe if you're a fan of the Blues or Sharks, you're probably over the moon after both teams advanced to the conference finals. However, the way they got there was anything but exciting hockey.
Two Games 7, two blowouts of pretty epic proportions. Both the Blues and Sharks took it to their opponents on the scoresheet, outscoring the Stars and Predators 11-1 respectively over the two days. All in all, neither game made for very compelling hockey, which is a shame because both series have had some of the best action we've seen so far in the postseason.
While the Stars can place a good heap of their Game 7 performance on their bad goaltending, the Predators meanwhile had only their goaltender show up. Top defensemen Shea Weber and Roman Josi both had their worst games in recent memory, and the offense hardly generated any pushback against San Jose. The Sharks controlled the pace all game long, giving the Predators no chance for sustained time in the offensive zone.
Poor Pekka Rinne was hung out to dry by his team too. Nashville had just eight shots combined in the first two periods to the Sharks' 23. Though it evened out eventually, it's no wonder Rinne was not happy after giving up the fifth goal of the game at the 44th minute.
Alas, we'll have to take two bad games to get to the matchup we all wanted in the Western Conference Final: the Blues and Sharks. The two teams that could never get it done in the past will duke it out for the right to play for the Stanley Cup. Now that's compelling hockey.
Sharks 5, Predators 0
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3 things we learned
1. Rinne was MAD after that fifth goal
How mad, you ask? Well ...
Really, we can't blame him. Sure he let in five goals, but at that point in the game, the Predators STILL didn't have double digits in shots.
2. Weber had a really bad night
Once considered one of the NHL's premier defensemen, Shea Weber had a horrible night on defense. Not only was he on the ice for every goal scored against, he directly contributed to a few of them -- including this terrible offensive zone turnover that put the game out of reach for the Predators early in the second.
3. The Sharks' biggest names came to play
Five different players lit the lamp for San Jose in the win, and all are key contributors to the Sharks offense. Joe Pavelski tallied his ninth of the playoffs, while Joel Ward, Logan Couture, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau all had goals in the rout. Even better? Martin Jones, while hardly tested, stopped all 20 shots in his first career shutout in the playoffs.
On maybe the most insane play of the night, the Sharks scored on the very rare 4-on-1 scenario that truly put the game out of hand for the Predators.
Tweets from Tony
Remember Tony, AKA @soloucity on Twitter, who fell in love with hockey during the Blues/Blackhawks Game 7? We're dedicating a section in our recaps to the gems of his Twitter account during the playoffs.
Tony is ready for the Sharks. Are you?
blues will be ready....... we've faced one of the best teams and the best offense b2b rounds https://t.co/G80ZFwRbRt— Tony X. (@soIoucity) May 13, 2016
Stat of the Night