HNIC Star Selector - Conference Finals - Game 5 - Canucks vs Sharks

  Where should I start with this one?  Should I begin with discussing how Vancouver is one win away from returning to the Stanley Cup Finals?  I could write about how the majority of EA Sports NHL Hockey on line gaming community (let alone 95% of active players) do not have necessary skill set to mimic Hank Sedin's pass on the fourth Canuck goal Sunday night.  Or that Ryan Clowe should put forth more energy on the ice than he has in either the post game news conference or post whistle scrums?  All are decent topics worthy of article's unto themselves but given that this is our first post since game 2, I am going to use this forum instead to detail some of my thoughts about this series to date.

1.  Vancouver's scouting staff has played an intricate role in this years Stanley Cup run.   The Canucks have a tremendous amount of depth especially on the blue line and haven't missed a beat when losing starters Christian Erhoff and Aaron Rome.   Trade deadline acquisitions Chris Higgins (3 game winning goals) and Maxim Lapierre (second in hits with 58) have been extremely effective for the Canucks and minimized the impact of Manny Malholtra's season ending eye injury.

2.  Don't look now but Henrik Sedin is quietly leading the post season scoring race and his play has steadily improved this series.  I wonder how much this has to do with not matching up against the Keith/Seabrook or Weber/Shuter shutdown parings?

3.  There have been far too many power plays in the last two games which is taking away from this series flow and speed.

4.  San Jose can blame their special teams for losing this series especially game 4.  In a must win game, on home ice, you have to capitalize on any power play opportunities and going 0-5 to start the contest is totally unacceptable.

5.  Raffi Torres is extremely effective when he plays on the edge and he has been a physical force this series.  Great playoff beard as well!!

6.  Joe Thornton has erased any doubt about his ability to perform under pressure and has been far and away San Jose's best player.  He will play hurt tonight and my call is that he plays his heart out.  The same can't be said for Dany Heatley.  Heatley has been invisible this entire series mustering a measly one assist and 8 shots.

7.  I prefer the green men to the Vancouver flasher (it is a family show after all) but I do think that the spandex duo needs to start hitting a treadmill.  The playoffs is a haul and you can see the impact on their physique with each passing round.

8.  True Canuck fans could care a less that the rest of Canada isn't jumping on their bandwagon.

9.  Ryan Kesler wants you to play NHL 2K11.

10.  My Star Selector starting five tonight:  Henrik & Daniel Sedin, Roberto Luongo, Ryan Kesler and Patrick Marleau.

Thanks for reading and good luck with your Star Selector picks tonight oh and yes if you can't already tell Vancouver will close out this series tonight.  I'm calling for a 5 - 2 win!

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