Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Shark attack!

Da dum, Dad dum, Da da da da, da, da, da, da, datta da!

Everybody out of the ocean, it’s a shark attack.

San Jose with games in hand has made its move on the final playoff spot in the NHL west, and the unfortunate team on the surfboard riding a wave going the wrong way is the Vancouver Canucks.

The Sharks aided their bid for the final playoff spot with a victory over the Colorado Avalanche, pulling themselves even with Vancouver for the eighth spot in the West and with two games in hand over the Canucks they suddenly control their own destiny, while the Canucks can only sit back and wait for Saturday night.

San Jose took advantage of power play advantages on their way to the 2-1 victory and brought out an old nemesis for the Avs to put the game away. Marcel Goc scored the go ahead and winning goal in the third period to secure the win and remind the Avs of an unfortunate night a few years back when Goc knocked them out of the playoffs.

It’s been described as a character win for the Sharks who were given up for dead a few short weeks ago and now find themselves on the cusp of driving into the playoffs with an offence that is starting to get its act together.

On the Colorado side of the ice, goaltender Peter Budaj wasn’t felled so much by the Sharks attack but rather by his own side’s parade to the penalty box and sloppy play in their own end. That being said though, the Avs rookie is quite aware that his days as the number one guy in Denver are about to come to an end. Jose Theodore took part in his first compete practice with his new team, but suggests he’s still a fair bit of time away from playing in a game.

Colorado slipped a little further away from claiming a divisional win as Calgary hammered Phoenix on Wednesday, the win sets the Flames up nicely as divisional winners and holders of third place overall in the conference.

But the real race, the one that is life and death, is happening in the final spot and at the moment the Sharks look to have a new life, the Canucks possibly facing a playoff death. It may all come down to a two game showdown between San Jose and the Canucks coming up April 12 and 13, seven days from today could go a long ways in telling us who will move on and who will move out in the NHL West.

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