- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The St. Louis Blues started to run out of gas in the first-round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Then the second-round against the Dallas Stars took another toll on them. By the time they reached Game 6 of the Western Conference Final they didn’t have much left.
“We had individuals that they were struggling, guys that were high-minutes players,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We're going to look back on a lot of things. But one of the things that hurt us energy-wise was our inability to close out when we had the opportunity. It extended the series. Ended up forcing us into playing players multiple minutes. Ended up really hurting us in this series overall.”
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Last summer when Joel Ward had his pick of teams as an unrestricted free agent he was easily sold on the San Jose Sharks.
Ward didn’t see a team that was on the verge of a drop-off. He saw a group that was proud and wanted to redeem themselves after missing the playoffs the year before.
So Ward signed with the Sharks for three years at $9.825 million believing that this team could bring him closer to his professional goal of winning a Stanley Cup instead of pushing him further away.
“I knew coming here it was a good group. I know a lot of people looked down on that they didn’t make the playoffs, but I’ve been there too before a year in Washington when you didn’t make the playoffs and then you’re one goal away of going to the conference final,” Ward said. “It’s a good group, a good core group of guys that are here. It’s unbelievable. You have Hall of Famers, Olympians, gold medalists. It’s a great opportunity. How could you pass that up?”
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The hugging and backslapping around the basement of SAP Center was audible long after the San Jose Sharks punched their ticket to the first Stanley Cup Final in team history.
The relief in the organization was visible as some crying staff members hugged one another.
As reality set in that the Sharks will have their chance to play for a Stanley Cup it was clear to Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton that while beating the Blues 5-2 meant a lot, there was a more important trophy that’s up for grabs.
“This is not the end goal,” the 36-year-old Thornton said. “I'll tell you that right now.”
Throughout this playoff run there have been questions after almost every game and every round on why this Sharks team is different than prior postseason groups that struggled.
- Yahoo Sports Staff at Puck Daddy7 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Joel Ward, San Jose Sharks
The off-season acquisition, an annual playoff performer, scored two goals in the San Jose Sharks’ 5-2 Game 6 win that eliminated the St. Louis Blues.
No. 2 Star: Martin Jones, San Jose Sharks
Jones made the saves he needed to make, especially down the stretch, to back-stop the Sharks to the Stanley Cup Final with a 22-save effort.
No. 3 Star: Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues
The game was already 4-0, but the Blues sniper finally notched two goals in their loss.
Honorable Mention: Logan Couture had a goal and two assists. … Patrick Marleau had two assists. … Joe Pavelski had the opening goal. …Martin Jones made 24 saves.
Dishonorable Mention: Kevin Shattenkirk was a minus-3. … The Blues only earned one power play. … The Blues failed to reach the Stanley Cup Final again, having last played there in 1970.
NHL Three Stars: Joel Ward leads Sharks to Stanley Cup Final
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy7 hrs ago
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Sharks are no longer playoff disappointments. They’re no longer a team that needs to be questioned about why they faltered in the biggest games at the most important times of year.
They no longer need to be queried about why the 2015-16 version of the Sharks are different – simply because they are.
The San Jose Sharks are going to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history.
The Sharks got scoring from their core guys, new addition Joel Ward and received sound goaltending from Martin Jones to eliminate the St. Louis Blues in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final and punch their ticket to a Cup Final in a 5-2 win.
This is San Jose’s 25th anniversary season and the organization has never made a Stanley Cup Final. They were one of six teams in the NHL to never make a Cup Final and the second-oldest behind the Arizona Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets franchise.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy9 hrs ago
The Florida Panthers traded defenseman Erik Gudbranson and a 2016 fifth-round draft pick to the Vancouver Canucks for young forward Jared McCann, a 2016 second-round pick and 2016 fourth-round pick.
On May 9, the Panthers re-signed the 24-year-old Gudbranson to a one-year, $3.5 million contract.
Gudbranson was considered captain material for the team, and the Panthers were reportedly going to talk with him about another
"He is an important part of our young core who has continued to develop into a reliable, physical presence on our blue line and a strong leader in our locker room," team president Dale Tallon said after Florida re-signed Gudbranson.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy15 hrs ago
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Lineup changes and goaltender shifts are a way of life for the St. Louis Blues.
It’s not uncommon for players to come to work and find that coach Ken Hitchcock has done something personnel related for that upcoming game.
The Blues have changed lines, strategiesand goaltendersmultiple times during the Western Conference Final against the San Jose Sharks.
Sometimes it’s worked – like in Game 4 when the Blues beat the Sharks to even their series at 2-2. Sometimes those changes seem to have a shelf life and the team struggles after the initial jolt like in Game 5 when the Blues lost 6-3 to set up Wednesday’s elimination game at SAP Center.
During this time of year does the added stress of Hitchcock going mad scientist with his lineup gnaw at players? Especially before this mega important Game 6?
- Yahoo Sports Staff at Puck Daddy15 hrs ago
By Neil Parker
Game 6 between San Jose and St. Louis and the Game 7 showdown between Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay make up the Yahoo contests for Wednesday. Look for the home teams to punch their tickets to the Stanley Cup Finals, leading to your picks, values and fades for the Wednesday-Thursday contests.
GOALIE Matt Murray, PIT at TB ($34): With a 5-1 record and a .927 save percentage at home in the playoffs, and the Penguins grabbing the momentum in Game 6, look for Murray to continue his strong play in goal and help Pittsburgh advance.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy15 hrs ago
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Sharks have a high amount of faith that coach Peter DeBoer will put them in the right spots in Game 6 against the St. Louis Blues.
DeBoer is one of the better coaches in the NHL as far as preparing his team for situations where they can eliminate their opponent. In his career, DeBoer is 5-1 in closeout situations.
If there’s a secret to why, DeBoer and the Sharks both aren’t giving any reasoning in advance of Wednesday’s game at SAP Center where the team can book their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final. San Jose is up 3-2 in the Western Conference Final.
“I think it's just the consistency and the message,” DeBoer said. “We don't change anything. We don't change our meeting times or our message, make any kind of radical system changes or lineup changes based on the fact that we've got to win one more or we're facing elimination.”
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy16 hrs ago
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Tonight's towel for Sharks fans.... pic.twitter.com/3C73iauSsI
• WHAT DID WE SAY ABOUT PUTTING SAXOPHONES IN THE SHARK TANK?! [@Real_ESPNLebrun]
• "While previous iterations of San Jose’s hockey teams have tended to fade late in playoff series, if not outright choke, this version has shown a distinct ability to rise to the occasion when the temperature gets turned up." [CSN Bay Area]
• Concentrating on playing defense first will with Game 6 for the St. Louis Blues. [The Hockey Writers]Thu, May 268:00 PM EDTTampa Bay at PittsburghPreview Game