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Sharks - Stars preview

Mike Chen's two pieces (seriously, read the history bit and not just for the spectacular Bruce Campbell reference) supersede anything I'll write about this series. He absolutely covered a lot of the bases.

One bit of old school Dallas Stars bad blood I felt should also be mentioned (along with the evil Marchment stuff) is the Stars' former feud with Jeremy Roenick. JR had two notable checks on Mike Modano one of which Darryl Sydor went as far to call it a cheap shot.

Roenick also gave Mikey Mo a concussion as a member of Phoenix Coyotes.

Naturally, in the pre-Cowardly Breaking of Necks Days, retribution came soon enough when Derian Hatcher destroyed JR in a hit laced with good old fashioned vengeance. (I believe I turned 15 on that day...little did I know that one of my "gifts" was Roenick getting his jaw broken)

Moving on, a few things about the series coming up:

I'd be reluctant to rush Sergei Zubov into this series if he's not able to move well enough. You'd hate to see the physically imposing Sharks forwards get breaks simply because smokin' Sergei cannot skate well enough.

The Sharks are a much scarier team offensively, as they proved by absolutely destroying Calgary in Game 7. That was truly a gaudy display of their power. They outshot the Flames savagely and knocked Kipper out of the game (even if that decision was made by goalie swapping moron Mike Keenan).

The good news is that the Stars are playing well. Both teams have similar strengths: strong, experienced goaltending; plenty of scoring options and a commitment to team defense.

If the Stars are going to win, it's going to be based on stellar play from their top forwards (Ribeiro, Richards and Morrow) and the momentum crushing puck handling abilities of Marty Turco.

For a 6-game series, the Stars won somewhat easily. The Sharks are going to be a much bigger challenge, amazingly, than the defending Cup champions (or should we just call them the x-champs?). It just shows you how phenomenal the Western Conference is this year.