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Strader blog: Vancouver to San Jose

Tuesday, 05.1.2007 / 10:34 PM ET / News
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Strader blog: Vancouver to San Jose
Hello once again Panther fans….

This time I’m writing aboard my United flight from Vancouver down to San Francisco. I’m with my Versus partners Andy Brickley and Billy Jaffe. We’ll pick up a rental car in Frisco and make the 30-45 minute drive down to San Jose for Wednesday’s game 4 of the Sharks-Red Wings series.

Before I talk hockey, I’d like to pass along my best wishes to Jeff Rimer, the former TV voice of the Panthers who is now calling games for the Columbus Blue Jackets. As you may have read, Jeff recently underwent emergency bypass surgery. Now Jeff and I have something in common besides the fact that we both have called Panther games with Denis Potvin. Back in 1989, I had open heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. My surgery was not an emergency, but I needed aortic valve repair for a congenital condition. When the time is right, I’ll call Jeff and give him an idea of what his recovery might be like, but in the meantime let’s keep Jeff in our thoughts and prayers.

The Anaheim-Vancouver series started off just as I expected. The Ducks used their size and speed to earn a 5-1 victory and chased Roberto Luongo from the net in the process. It was only the third time all season that Luongo was pulled by coach Alain Vigneault. The Ducks’ top line of Selanne-Kunitz-McDonald accounted for 4 goals and 5 assists. Game two was a complete 180 from game one. Luongo and company were solid and the Canucks won 2-1 in double overtime on a goal by Jeff Cowan. The Canucks won despite the fact that they were short two of their top four defensemen: Kevin Bieksa and Sammi Salo. Bieksa missed the first three games of the series while Salo made his first appearance in game three.

Game 3 between the Sharks and Red Wings was some of the best action I’ve seen to date in these playoffs. Joe Thornton is playing with the edge that Boston fans wished he had showed in every game as a Bruin. If he continues to dominate, it will be tough for the Red Wings to win this series. Detroit gets a huge boost on Wednesday night with the return of Tomas Holmstrom. He will make life just a little more miserable for Sharks’ goalie Evgeny Nabakov.

Thursday morning our crew will be on an early flight from San Jose down to Anaheim for game 5 of that series. Will it be the clincher for the Ducks? Luongo and company needed a win on Tuesday night to assure at least a six game series.

That’s all for now. Keep checking back right here for my playoff updates right through the Stanley Cup Final!

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 CBJ 74 35 35 4 203 230 74
13 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 71 13 32 7 45
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jokinen 73 7 33 -1 40
J. Jagr 69 13 25 -4 38
B. Boyes 72 12 23 10 35
A. Ekblad 73 11 24 10 35
J. Hayes 64 18 13 -4 31
A. Barkov 63 12 17 -2 29
B. Campbell 74 3 21 1 24
B. Pirri 41 20 2 5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 26 17 11 .922 2.32
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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