Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Onus: #1 Seeds

I already explained to y'all what this is. Reminder? Fine, sheesh, pay attention. Myself, Denson, JToB from Cycle Like The Sedins, and Reed at Capitals Kremlin have all pitched in for the first round of Oni (is that right? who cares). So here we bring you the top seeds in both conferences, the San Jose Sharks and Boston Bruins.

Vance -
Phil Kessel

Listen, we all know how strong the Bruins are on the blue line, we all know how strong the Bruins ‘tenders have been all year long. But since Jan. 1st Phil only has 9 goals, in order for the B’s to continue on their run, he needs to light the lamp.
Devin Setoguchi

Why Setoguchi? We already know Marleau and Thornton will choke; it’s the playoffs for God’s sakes. Devin will need to continue the pace in his sophomore season, to make up for Chokin’ Joe and invincible, err, invisible Marleau.

Denson -
Tim Thomas

Again, with these top teams, it’s hard to say who has to “step it up”. Now Thomas has had a superb season, probably will win the Vezina…but doesn’t that mean Fatty should also be the one everyone leans on to backstop this team to the Finals? Thomas has arguably been the Bruins best player all season, so he doesn’t need to step it up, he just needs to keep playing that way. If he starts PMS’n when the Habs/Rags go up 2-1 in the series on these bitches…they are done.
Joe Thornton

Boy, looking up and down this roster there just aren’t many weaknesses. Thorton is by no means a weakness, but he has been known to a great disappearing act in the playoffs. He is their set up man and he needs to be at his best to help his scorers get chances. Pavelski and Setoguchi can only do so much. They’ve got six 20 goals scorers on this team. Thorton can pick his poison and let his wingers score…if his game is on…

JToB - Cycle Like The Sedins
Tim Thomas

For some reason, Michael Farber thinks that the onus is on Marc Savard. Hog wash, I say. It's clear that as Tim Thomas goes, so goes the Bruins. He's had a fantastic season - some might say Vezina worthy - but can he justify that risky contract extension with a deep run to the playoffs? Let's hope so, because Manny Fernandez has the potential to turn an old Boston proverb on it's ear: "Manny being Manny" might change to "Manny being shitty."
Dan Boyle

The most pressure is on Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, but Boyle is unique in that he owns a Stanley Cup ring and unlike Rob Blake, also remains in his prime. If Boyle can provide the steady offense he's produced in the regular season, defenses will have more to worry about than the Sharks' blue chip centers. Although, no doubt, Thornton will be blamed if they once again fail to make a deep playoff run.

Reed - Capitals Kremlin
Zdeno Chara

He's Boston's big boy, and he's gotta come up in a big way, especially considering the Bruins didn't even exit the first round this year. With a strong offense in front of Z, if he leads by example and hunkers down on defense for Tim Thomas, expect the Bruins to be coasting through the first two rounds.

Evgeni Nabokov

With 40 plus wins and a 2.39 GAA, Nabokov is a well deserved Vezina finalist. If he continues to play this way through the playoffs, he’ll likely be lifting the Conn Smythe. The Stanley Cup’s glory has eluded the Sharks for too long, and with a great team in front of Nabokov, the Sharks are looking like a lock for the Western Conference Finals.

Well I think this just goes to show exactly how little weaknesses both these teams have shown this year, as we pretty much as went straight for the stereotypes, Thornton chokes, Thomas is unproven is postseason play, etc.

Either way, look for the #2 seed Oni to go up later today or tomorrow, depending on how the Holiday travel treats me.

Join in the discussion, who do you think on the Sharks and Bruins are most key to their run?
Fact: BanginPanger is not meant as an insult to the one and only Darren Pang, nor do I claim to be him. The views and opinions presented on BanginPanger are of my own, and no other namesake of the site, the NHL, Buffalo Sabres, Washington Capitals, or anyone else.