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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 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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