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Posted On Saturday, 04.30.2011 / 3:09 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 WCSF: San Jose-Detroit Live Blog

Sharks' Boyle not a fan of noon start for Game 2

Sunday's Game 2 between the Sharks and Red Wings will start at noon local time at HP Pavilion, the first time all season a game will start that early in San Jose. The Red Wings are no strangers to playing at 12:30 on NBC, but it's going to be a new experience for many members of the Sharks.

"I don't like it. I'll be honest," defenseman Dan Boyle said. "I don't like noon games at all. It is what it is. I haven't quite figured out what the routine's going to be, but I'll figure it out tonight. Although I don't like it, I'm sure I'll be ready to go come game time."

Sharks coach Todd McLellan said he doesn't believe the rare noon start of his players will have much an effect, considering the team holds most of its practices at home at about the same time.

"Both teams have to start at noon, so both teams have issues and things to deal with," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "Our body clocks and our hockey clocks are set to skate at this time. This is when we practice every day. We cfome to the rink and we start thinking hockey and breathing hockey. It's a matter of what you do tonight and how you manage your morning and make sure you're prepared. That's an individual choice that each of our players has to make so they come in and play for their teammates."

Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard doesn't mind waking up a little earlier for a hockey game.

"It's no big deal," Howard said. "The only thing that really changes is the morning and you don't get the pregame skate."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

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Posted On Saturday, 04.30.2011 / 2:54 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 WCSF: San Jose-Detroit Live Blog

Heatley talks Pavelski, uses 'Wisconsin' as adjective

The Sharks had a quick skate Saturday afternoon at Sharks Ice, their practice facility that's about 2 miles from HP Pavilion. The atmosphere was light and fun, not surprising with the team coming off a 2-1 overtime win against the Red Wings about 12 hours earlier.

But no one seemed to be having more fun than Dany Heatley, who was asked about Joe Pavelski, a Wisconsin native who also played his college hockey at Wisconsin.

The question was, "What's the most Wisconsin Badger-like thing about him?"

"I don't know about Badger," Heatley said, "but growing up in Wisconsin, it's probably his and his old man's love of hunting and fishing. I did see him eat some cheese curds the other day."

Ever seen him any Green Bay Packers stuff?

"Oh yeah," Heatley said. "You don't see him tailgating out there with the grill?"

Does he lean toward Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers?

"I don't know. I'm a Favre guy," Heatley said. "I'm both guys. They're both good guys. You have to be diplomatic with those guys."

Heatley did heap praise on Pavelski for his game-tying goal in the third period Friday, when he batted a puck out of mid-air near the net.

"The way he plays, come this time of year, he gets rewarded for those things," Heatley said. "When Pavs does things like that in practice, knocking it out of the air, you get in a game like that, you get a chance to do that, and he buries it for us. He works on a lot little things."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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Posted On Thursday, 04.28.2011 / 3:33 PM

By David Kalan -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 WCSF: San Jose-Detroit Live Blog

EA SPORTS predicts second round full of upsets

With four Game 7s in a 30-hour span, the first round of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs went out with a bang, and given the win-or-go-home nature of each of those games, the chances that postseason brackets in office pools across North America would stay intact were tenuous at best. Having an opening round record of 7 correct picks would be pretty impressive. Even getting just 5 series right, as the writer of this very story did, isn't terrible.

Of course, going 8-for-8 isn't bad either.

The wizards at EA SPORTS did just that with their EA SPORTS NHL '11 simulation engine, which accurately tabbed such upsets as Tampa Bay's win over Pittsburgh and Nashville's first-ever postseason series victory. Rather than walk off into the sunset, however, EA SPORTS is back at it for round two of the postseason, and this time those predictions are a little gutsier than usual.

Taking three of four lower seeds to advance to the 2011 conference finals would make another perfect projection a pretty remarkable example of clairvoyance, but that's just what EA SPORTS is banking on, as its latest round of predictions has Vancouver as the lone higher seed advancing. For the Canucks to do so after a draining seven-game win over Chicago could be difficult, but EA SPORTS' simulations expect it -- and in just five games. If all goes according to plan, the Canucks will be facing Detroit, which is predicted to topple San Jose in overtime in a decisive seventh game.

In the East, Tampa Bay is picked to complete what would be the upset of the playoffs thus far, as EA SPORTS has the Bolts eliminating the No. 1-seeded Capitals in seven games, while the Bruins get a measure of revenge for last year's historic ouster at the hands of the Flyers with a six-game win over Philadelphia.

EA SPORTS will continue to run simulations after each round of the playoffs, but in addition fans are invited to make their own predictions in the EA SPORTS NHL 2011 Playoff Bracket Contest at www.facebook.com/EASPORTSNHL. Participating fans can accrue points for correct predictions with the ultimate prize at the end of Stanley Cup Final of two tickets to the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa on the line.

Second Round fan voting opens today at http://www.facebook.com/EASPORTSNHL, when fans can make predictions for the postseason's opening round. Start dates for subsequent rounds will be announced at the conclusion of each series.

EA SPORTS NHL 11 Round Two Predictions: Conference Semifinals

Western Conference

(1) Vancouver vs. Nashville (5)
 
Game 1: Nashville 3 @ Vancouver 1

Game 2: Nashville 2 @ Vancouver 5

Game 3: Vancouver 2 @ Nashville 1

Game 4: Vancouver 4 @ Nashville 2

Game 5: Nashville 0 @ Vancouver 2

Vancouver wins series 4-1

 
(2) San Jose vs. Detroit (3)

Game 1: Detroit 3 @ San Jose 2

Game 2: Detroit 2 @ San Jose 4

Game 3: San Jose 3 @ Detroit 4

Game 4: San Jose 5 @ Detroit 4 [OT]

Game 5: Detroit 2 @ San Jose 3

Game 6: San Jose 2 @ Detroit 5

Game 7: Detroit 4 @ San Jose 3 [OT]

Detroit wins series 4-3

 

Eastern Conference:

(1) Washington vs. Tampa Bay (5)

Game 1: Tampa Bay 1 @ Washington 3

Game 2: Tampa Bay 4 @ Washington 6

Game 3: Washington 3 @ Tampa Bay 4

Game 4: Washington 2 @ Tampa Bay 3 [OT]

Game 5: Tampa Bay 2 @ Washington 5

Game 6: Washington 0 @ Tampa Bay 2

Game 7: Tampa Bay 3 @ Washington 1

Tampa Bay wins series 4-3


(2) Philadelphia vs. Boston (3)


Game 1: Boston 4 @ Philadelphia 2

Game 2: Boston 2 @ Philadelphia 3

Game 3: Philadelphia 1 @ Boston 2[OT]

Game 4: Philadelphia 1 @ Boston 4

Game 5: Boston 1 @ Philadelphia 4

Game 6: Philadelphia 2 @ Boston 3

Boston wins series 4-2

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Quote of the Day

There was a lot of talk off the ice. From a player's standpoint, that's not the talk in the room. GMs make decisions, coaches make decisions, but as a team you have to come together and be ready to go, and we are.

— San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels on his team's approach entering training camp