Some thoughts from the NHL on TSN panel on Thursday night:
If you look at the regular season standings, you have basically the two best teams in the NHL heading into the Western Conference Final.
The Vancouver Canucks are the Presidents' Trophy winners and they have some playoff pressure treating that they've gone through and done a good job with.
The San Jose Sharks are a group that in December were down at 11th or 12th overall in the Western Conference and they rocketed to the top of the charts behind only Vancouver.
So it's fitting that these two teams that were so good in the regular season are now going to get a chance to settle it in the Western Conference Final.
Solid Supporting Cast
With each passing year it's gotten less about the big names in San Jose, Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and Dany Heatley, and more about the supporting cast, and especially the young guns.
Devin Setoguchi, playing on that line with Thornton and Marleau, got things started with a great goal on Thursday night.
Then Logan Couture, still a rookie, even though it's his second full post-season, steals the puck from Henrik Zetterberg, puts it up top, stakes the San Jose Sharks to a 2-0 lead.
Then when Marleau got the tap in, it was Setoguchi who was driving the net, and really made things happen for what turned out to be the game-winning goal.
Absolutely the San Jose Sharks are much more than the big names. They've got the young guys becoming big players, and then you have Ryan Clowe, Joe Pavelski, and some other guys in terms of that supporting cast. This is a very deep team up front.