Lighthouse Hockey is an Islanders-focused site, but we have an annual tradition of polling our readers to pick each playoff series. No reason to dispense with this tradition just because the Islanders have put us in the suddenly unfamiliar position of watching playoff series that actually involve them.
I bet there was a time when traditional hockey fans were angered about Western expansion because "no one likes hockey there" or some such short-sighted nonsense. Thankfully people do like hockey in the Pacific time zone, so addicts like us get to watch playoff games from early evening to past midnight.
The Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks are familiar foes, two teams that have battled each other for inheriting the Western contender mantle from the Wings over the past few years, but neither of them able to convert that charge into winning a Cup ... yet.
In their respective franchise zeitgeists, each franchise has moved from high expectations and anticipating being on the cusp, to anxiety that the proverbial window is closing. They are not the teams they once were, but they are still decent and playoff-worthy.
They could make some noise in the playoffs, and -- more importantly to people who just like hockey -- they can produce a fun (albeit low scoring) series together.
Through 48 games they were separated by two points in the standings and two goals in the goal difference ledger. But there are contrasts:
|2.40 (10th)||GA||2.33 (6th)|
|51.68 (12th)||Fen/Cl.||52.41 (9th)|
|Game||Date||Matchup||Time (ET)||National TV|
|Game 1||Wed, May 1||Sharks at Canucks||10:30 p.m.||NBCSN, TSN|
|Game 2||Fri, May 3||Sharks at Canucks||10 p.m.||CNBC, TSN|
|Game 3||Sun, May 5||Canucks at Sharks||10 p.m.||NBCSN, TSN|
|Game 4||Tue, May 7||Canucks at Sharks||10 p.m.||CNBC, TSN|
|Game 5*||Thu, May 9||Sharks at Canucks||10 p.m.||TSN|
|Game 6*||Sat, May 11||Canucks at Sharks||TBD||TSN|
|Game 7*||Mon, May 13||Sharks at Canucks||TBD||TSN|
Poll: Who Wins, and When?
This is where you vote on your pick for the series (and explain in comments below). And also look at this as a San Jose-Vancouver Game 1 watch thread if you're taking in the late game.
LHH Playoff Pool
You'll see this in the other playoff poll posts, but Mark set up a pool (no money involved, this is Communist LHH remember) like last year for everyone to make their full playoff picks, for all four rounds. Bonus for getting upsets right. No actual prizes -- this is just for fun. Link and full details here.