NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs podcast with Matt Harrington: Bruins get that ‘backed in the corner feeling’ entering Game 6 in St. Louis

photo from masslive.com: Boston Bruins’ Brandon Carlo, left, and St. Louis Blues’ Tyler Bozak jockey for position during the second period in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Thursday, June 6, 2019, in Boston.

On the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs podcast with Matt:

#1 The St. Louis Blues who are the front runners in the series now evened the series twice in Games 2 and 4. They are certainly aware of the surroundings on the ice and on the series scoreboard too.

#2 Taking a look at some of the key players in the series thus far starting with the Boston Bruins’ Brad Marchand in the postseason with eight goals, 13 assists, and 21 points, David Pastrnak with eight goals, nine assists, and 17 points, just two of the many talented players on the B’s who are now trying to solve the Blues at this time.

#3 Matt talks about St. Louis goaltender Jordan Binnington. While he had a rough Game 3 in which the Bruins beat up on the Blues 7-2, Binnington had two great back-to-back games in Games 4 and 5.

#4 The Bruins are just one game down 3-2 in the series. Do the Bruins feel they’ve got their backs to the wall in an elimination game in St. Louis in Game 6 on Sunday night?

#5 The Blues won two one-goal games in this series. That tells you also a little about their defensive prowess.

Matt Harrington does the NHL podcasts each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast with Barbara Mason: Curry’s wife on Jada Pinkett show to talk about lack of attention from men; Kerr says Green’s a wrecking ball; plus more

Photo credit: buzzfeednews.com

On That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast:

#1 On the Facebook Red Table Talk show with Jada Pinkett, NESN.com reported Golden State Warriors wife Ayesha Curry said that while she didn’t like groupies hanging around her husband, she had developed a bit of “an insecurity” and getting “zero male attention.” One writer Bari A Williams tweeted Ayesha might feel this way is because she’s 30, has three kids and might not feel and look the same way she did before she had kids.

#2 Golden State Warriors head coach Steven Kerr said that Draymond Green was a wrecking ball in Game 3 on Saturday with 20 points, 12 rebounds, 13 assists, four steals, and a blocked shot.

#3 St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington said about San Jose Sharks Timo Meier’s one hand pass assist that led to the Sharks’ game-winning goal in Game 4 for the overtime win on Eirk Karlsson’s goal: “It’s just madness. You hope for the best and try to close the door.” The Blues were pretty angry and took it out on Game 5 in San Jose on Sunday for the win 5-0 to take a 3-2 series lead.

#4 The red-hot New York Yankees have won 10 of their last 14 games and Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said of the 17 starters or key players who are on the injured list the replacement by the younger players have come out and done a great job. ”Young guys are stepping up, they realize this is an opportunity that they might not otherwise have had and they’re making the most of it.” said Steinbrenner.

#5 The Oakland A’s, during this current road trip after losing two straight in Seattle, won three straight in Detroit. The A’s regrouped after the pair of losses to the Mariners and are really making a go of it in Detroit.

Barbara Mason is filling in for Amaury Pi Gonzalez on the News and Commentary podcast at http://www.sportsradioservice.com and is a freelance reporter for Area Grande Spanish Newspapers

2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Blues Take 3-2 Lead in WCF, Beat Sharks 5-0

Photo credit: @PR_NHL

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The St. Louis Blues took a 3-2 lead in the NHL Western Conference Final, by defeating the San Jose Sharks 5-0 at SAP Center Sunday.

St. Louis got goals from Oskar Sundqvist, Vladimir Tarasenko and a hat trick from Jaden Schwartz. Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington made 21 saves in the shutout win.

Sharks goaltender Martin Jones made 35 saves in a losing effort. Through the game, San Jose was penalized eight times and lost four players to injury for several minutes or more. Only one of those returned to play in the third period.

After the game, Sharks forward Logan Couture commented on what he saw of the hits that sent Joe Pavelski and Tomas Hertl out of the game: “I saw the Hertl hit, I just saw the replay. Yeah, that’s a tough one. But, I mean they had one earlier, in Game 3, I believe on Braun. I think it was Game 3. And nothing happened, so they can do it again, right?”

Evander Kane hit a post in the first moments of Sunday’s game. Asked whether a goal there would have changed the momentum significantly, Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer said:

I think a few things could have changed the game. I thought we played well enough to come out of that first maybe up. I thought, arguably, a five-minute major on Tommy Hertl, that if it’s called, you know, that’s a momentum changing play right there. But we come out of the first down one-nothing and then Hertl can’t go, and you know, Karlsson can’t go and so we started taking on some water. I thought they took over in the second period. And then when Pav got hit high we lost our composure there in the third. And, not our finest moment but I understand where that emotion’s coming from with what he’s been through. We’ve just got to regroup, got to go in and win a game.

The Sharks had some excellent chances off the hop, including that Kane shot off the post. Then, at 5:50, the Blues got on the board. Erik Karlsson went down behind his own net to move the puck out, and sent it up the boards for Brenden Dillon. It went between Dillon’s skates and off the boards back into open ice. While the Sharks kept an eye on Alexander Steen and Pat Maroon in their zone, Oskar Sundqvist sped out of the neutral zone and shot the puck. Erik Karlsson had moved into the lane and Sundqvist used him as a screen, so the puck went right by Jones. That was the first of three unassisted goals in a row.

The Sharks out-shot the Blues 11-4 in the first, but the Blues won 56% of the faceoffs. Logan Couture had a notable drop off in face-off performance, against a number of Blues players after five minutes. The Sharks had two shots on their first period power play.

The start of the second was less good for the Sharks. After five minutes, the Blues had another goal and a 10-1 shot lead. The goal came off an ill-conceived attempt to move the puck across the slot by Jones. He was trying to clear the puck away after Brenden Dillon blocked the shot on its way in, but Jaden Schwartz skated to the net and put the puck around Jones without anyone getting in his way.

Moments later, the Blues were awarded a penalty shot after Brent Burns tripped Vladimir Tarasenko. Tarasenko put a shot over Jones’ glove into the top corner to make it 3-0. That was at 6:53. At 10:43, the Blues were on a four-minute power play after Donskoi caught Steen in the mouth with his stick. That did not last long as Tyler Bozak got called for holding Evander Kane. The two minute four-on-four generated little for either team, and the Sharks killed off the rest of the Blues power play.

With five left in the period, the shots were 18-4 Blues. By the end of the period, the Blues outshot the Sharks 20-6. the Blues also improved their faceoff advantage to 57%. Tomas Hertl was the only Shark to take more than five faceoffs and win more than 50% of them. He won 70%. On the Blues’ side, Tyler Bozak and Brayden Schenn won just over 70% of their face-offs.

Erik Karlsson did not skate during the last seven or so minutes of the period.

The Sharks started the second period with a pair of penalties, putting the Blues on a two minute five-on-three power play at 1:55. With Micheal Haley and Barclay Goodrow both in the box, Jaden Schwartz scored with a pin-balling shot that put the Blues up 4-0 at 2:19. Assists went to David Perron and Tarasenko.

The Sharks managed to kill off the remainder of the second penalty.

Before the middle of the third period, Tomas Hertl, Joe Pavelski, Erik Karlsson and Joonas Donskoi were all in the dressing room for repairs or worse. Donskoi skated two shifts at the start of the period before leaving with a bleeding face. Pavelski skated one shift. Hertl and Karlsson did not skate in the third.

Micheal Haley joined them for unsportsmanlike conduct and an additional misconduct. A tripping penalty to Timo Meier put the Sharks on another five-on-three penalty kill.

Donskoi returned to the game after the ten minute mark, with just under eight minutes remaining.

The Sharks got their second power play of the game at 13:12. They did not score. The Blues did, at 16:02. Another defensive collapse from the remaining Sharks allowed Schwartz to get open on that same side again. Another assist went to Tarasenko.

With a little more than two minutes remaining, Evander Kane took some penalty time: two for goaltender interference, two for slashing Edmundson, and a little more for misconduct.

Game 6 will be on Tuesday at the Enterprise Center at 5:00 PM PT.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Western Conference Final podcast with Len Shapiro: Despite loss, Sharks have advantage and home ice; series tied at 2-2

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

On the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Western Conference Final podcast with Len:

#1 As San Jose Sharks’ Justin Braun said after the game in St. Louis on Friday night, the start of the game buried the Sharks.

#2 The Blues got scoring help in the first period from Ivan Barbashev for his first postseason goal at 0:35 and the second one coming from Tyler Bozak for his fourth postseason goal at 17:53.

#3 After the game, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said the series is tied, the Sharks have home ice and DeBoer says he feels good about it.

#4 Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington stopped 29 out of 30 shots, shutting out the Sharks in the first and second periods.

#5 Game 5 comes back to San Jose on Sunday night at SAP Center. Despite the loss, the series with home ice for the Sharks looks to be in their favor.

Len Shapiro does the NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Western Conference podcasts each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs podcast with Joe Lami: Blues look to even series, but Sharks look to move two games up tonight

Photo credit: @NBCSSharks

On the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs podcast with Joe Lami:

#1 Joe explain the overtime goal from San Jose Sharks’ Erik Karlsson that got guided in from teammate Timo Meier with the glove hand to teammate Gustav Nyquist, who stick passed it to Karlsson and shot it past St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington.

#2 The Sharks got the Wednesday night comeback win from a 4-3 deficit as the Sharks’ Logan Couture scored the tying goal in the third period at 18:59. The Sharks, again, played like their playoff lives depended on it and made a comeback.

#3 Couture also leads NHL playoff leaders in goals with 13 goals and 19 points. He’s having a fine offensive postseason.

#4 The Boston Bruins swept the Carolina Panthers in four games with a 4-0 shutout Thursday night. The Bruins didn’t show any lows at all in the series and have been very consistent throughout the playoffs.

#5 The Bruins now wait for the winner of the St. Louis and San Jose series. Joe tells us who he thinks the Bruins prefer to play in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Joe Lami does the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Sharks Beat Blues 6-3 in Game 1 of NHL Western Conference Final

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks defeated the St. Louis Blues 6-3 Saturday, taking a 1-0 lead in the Western Conference Final series. Timo Meier and Logan Couture created a stir with two goals each, while forwards Joe Pavelski and Kevin Labanc added goals to complete that hefty score. Blues goals came from Joel Edmundson, Ryan O’Reilly and Tyler Bozak. Sharks goaltender Martin Jones made 28 saves for the win, while Jordan Binnington made 19 saves for the Blues.

After the game, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer was asked about how his team shut down the Blues’ formidable Tarasenko line, just as they had shut down Colorado’s top line in the previous series. DeBoer said:

St. Louis is built a little different. Obviously, they have that line, but I think they also have a couple other lines that are very good too. Their third line might have been their most dangerous line in the last series and I thought was good again tonight, got a goal in the third period. So they’re built differently. I think this is going to be more of a team effort to shut down their group and if we can get the match ups we want, great. If we can’t, the guys out there are going to have to get the job done.

Series predictions have some trends to rely on. By the end of the second round, the Sharks seemed to have shed their habit of giving up a goal in the first minute of the game, and they had scored the most goals in the 2019 playoffs. They had also given up the most third period goals. St. Louis was second in scoring third period goals and had given up 10 fewer goals per game than the Sharks. Both teams have had formidable penalty kills, but less reliable power plays.

The Sharks started the scoring early in the first after taking the puck away from the Blues in the neutral zone. Logan Couture and Gus Nyquist broke away from the Blues defense at the blue line and ended up 2-on-1 against Joel Edmundson. Nyquist passed across and Couture put it away for his 10th of the playoffs. The time of the goal was 3:31.

That first goal ignited the Blues, at least in terms of hits. Sundry contact was ignored by the officials, including a curious pair of hits on Tomas Hertl and an elbow to Timo Meier’s head.

The Blues tied the game with an end-to-end play by Jaden Schwartz at 9:13. Schwartz took Logan Couture down behind the Blues net without any reaction from the officials. He then skated the puck all the way down and shot it off of Joel Edmundson. It was Edmundson’s first of the playoffs. Assists went to Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko.

Joe Pavelski got the lead back for the Sharks in a 5-on-3 power play at 11:24. Brent Burns sent the puck to him off to the side of the net. Pavelski stopped the hard pass and shot it. Binnington got his pad in the way and Pavelski had to reach in and give the puck a couple of extra taps to get it over the pad. It was Pavelski’s fourth of the playoffs and his second since returning from injury. Assists went to Burns and Erik Karlsson.

Despite having to kill two penalties, the Blues led the Sharks in shots in the first period, 10-9. The Sharks had the edge in face-offs, winning 59%.

Kevin Labanc added to the Sharks’ tally at 7:41 of the second. He skated in down the left boards then took a hard right at the face-off circle. He took the shot as he exited the circle and the puck went through three skaters. The traffic may have even disguised the fact that Labanc was moving to shoot, so the goaltender had no chance. An assist on Labanc’s fourth of the playoffs went to Joe Thornton.

Ryan O’Reilly scored a tricky goal at 8:58 to make it 3-2. He got control of a sluggish rebound near the blue paint, drew it back until Martin Jones came out for the shot, then went around the goaltender and nudged it over the line. Assists went to David Perron and Sammy Blais. It was O’Reilly’s third of the playoffs.

Timo Meier scored at 10:24 after a beautiful poke check by Logan Couture at the blue line, keeping the puck in. Meier was pursuing the checked skater and was ready to turn and take it back to the net. He avoided the pursuing defensemen and waited until Binnington was down, then, while skating left, reached right to guide the puck around the goalie’s outstretched skate and into the net. Couture got the assist. It was Meier’s fourth of the playoffs.

The Blues got their first power play at 13:23. The Sharks did not let any shots get through but one of the attempts sent Goodrow limping to the bench.

The Sharks added another at 17:34 of the second, this one attributed to Timo Meier. Meier was behind the net and trying to move the puck forward.  Blues defenseman Vince Dunn got in the way. His skate was in the perfect position to redirect the puck in behind his own goaltender. Assists went to Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Gus Nyquist.

The second period shots were again very close, this time 11-9 Sharks. The Sharks won 58% of the second period face-offs.

Their third period scoring success in these playoffs made it all the less surprising when the Blues made it 5-3 at 13:01 of the third.

After several attempts to Jones’ right, the puck got across to the other side where Tyler Bozak was waiting to put it in. It was Bozak’s third of the playoffs. Assists went to Pat Maroon and Vince Dunn.

The Blues pulled their goaltender with 4:39 left in the game. The Sharks had their hands full defending those six skaters, but managed a couple of shots at the empty net. Logan Couture finally got one of them in the net at 17:39. Assists went to Joe Pavelski and Evander Kane.

Fisticuffs followed at the Sharks end. Barclay Goodrow was sent off after intervening in someone else’s dispute, for roughing against Robert Bortuzzo. Goodrow also got a misconduct against Bortuzzo. Bortuzzo was sent off for roughing against Goodrow and received an additional misconduct. They each got five minutes. Brenden Dillon and Oskar Sundqvist got two minutes each for roughing. All of that went down at 17:55.

For a clue to what the Blues will be working on before Game 2, here is what Blues head coach Craig Berube had to say after Game 1:

I thought that third period we got to our game, we were aggressive, we’re on the forecheck, controlled the puck in the offensive zone. We didn’t get there enough tonight. In the first period it was ok, I thought it was a pretty good first period other than the penalties. But second period we just got caught in that three-quarter ice game by them, they did a good job checking, forced some things on us and we got caught in some turnovers and they capitalized on them.

Game 2 will be on Monday in San Jose at the SAP Center at 6:00 PM PT.