LCS Hockey: Born Again
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June 26, 2019
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Second Round Preview



CAMPBELL CONFERENCE

DALLAS STARS (5) VS SAN JOSE SHARKS (2)


Evgeni Nabokov
photo by Matthieu Masquelet

Key Matchup: When weasels collide. Joe Thornton, Jeremy Roenick, and Mike Ribeiro are three of my least favorite players, yet all three played like champs in the first round. How am I supposed to make cheap, tasteless jokes at their expense if they keep winning?

The good news is at least one of the three will be eliminated. But what will it be like watching Thornton and Ribeiro go head-to-head? This calls for a drink.

Players to Watch: I'll be doing my damndest to not watch Thornton, Roenick, and Ribeiro, lemme tell ya. And how can anyone gaze upon those hideous San Jose uniforms? Egad. I didn't know the circus was in town.

If you have to watch someone on San Jose, keep an eye on joltin' Joe Pavelski. The 23-year-old had a swell series against the Flames, posting three goals and seven points.

But the key player for the Fish will be Brian Campbell. He was downright dreadful against El Scorcho. An unrestricted free agent after the season, Campbell seemed far too eager to protect his future earning potential, shying away from contact and generally playing like a two-bit punk. Campbell needs to crank it up. Because if he doesn't, believe me, I've got plenty of crying jokes ready to roll.

Sergei Zubov and Philippe Boucher could both return to action at some point in the series. Until they do, youngsters Matt Niskanen, Mark Fistric, and Nicklas Grossman will be called on to log important minutes for the Stars. How they hold up will go a long way to determining the series.

Prediction: As much as I hate Thornton, Roenick, and those dreadful uniforms, I think the Fish are destined for a deep swim. They got severely tested in Round One, and for the first time in their history, they actually passed the test.

The Stars are a real solid squad. I picked them to lose to Anaheim, and they handed me my only defeat of the first round. So I reckon all you Dallas fans should be glad I'm picking against them again. I just think San Jose will have too much up front for the Dallas blue line.

San Jose in six.




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