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Baker's Blog - 5/23/2013

by Jamie Baker / San Jose Sharks

So it's now a best 2 out of 3, as it should be and really to no one's surprise.

The Sharks and Kings each won twice against each other in the regular season. San Jose was 2-2-0 and LA was 2-1-1 losing one game in the shootout but winning a relatively non important last game of the season. Total goals in the regular season were 10 for San Jose and 13 for LA.

In the playoffs the series is tied 2-2 both teams holding serve at home. The Sharks have scored 7 goals in 4 games and the Kings have scored 8 goals. This series is a mental and physical battle that is testing the resolve of both teams. In other words it's playoff hockey at its finest.

Some thoughts on the first 4 games:

* The Sharks played one of their best periods in a long long time to start game 4 led by Captain Joe Thornton. I think he reminded everyone the type of leader and player he is and he has a great supporting group around him that he makes better.

* The Sharks 4th line of Kennedy, Kearns and Desjardins were on the ice in the last minute of the 1st and 2nd period in game 4 and got some crucial PK time in the 3rd period. That is enormous confidence for the 4th line who deserved it because of their solid play.

* Quietly having a fantastic series is the D paring of Vlasic and Braun who have shut down LA's top line of Kopitar, Brown and Williams. They have been getting help from Couture, Marleau and Pavelski too, who have been phenomenal defensively in this series.

* The additions of Burish, Stuart and Gomez are huge at this time of year as all have won Stanley Cups. Having Torres and Hannah has also been tremendous additions in the room and on the ice. These players and their experience become a big factor the deeper the Sharks go in this series and the playoffs.

* It's been a homer series so far! Sharks need to change that to win the series, and they know they can because aside from a few bad breaks in game 2 they would have won at Staples Center. Tonight they get a chance to take the lead in the series for the first time.

Classic series so far, can't wait to see how it plays out.

Go Sharks!

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