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Netcrashing: Who is worse off: The Habs or Sharks?

TSN.ca Staff

5/20/2010 1:28:35 AM

The Blackhawks have put fear into the hearts of Sharks fans, while the Flyers have Canadiens fans wondering what has happened to that determined squad that just ran over the Capitals and the Penguins. The Habs are down 0-2 in the east, and the Sharks have skated into the same deficit in the west.

So the debate arises: are the Sharks in the more unfortunate position, or is it the Canadiens?

Consider the records. The Canadiens are facing a Flyers squad that has just won six straight games, including its momentus journey from down 0-3 to topple the Bruins in the last round. Further, Philadelphia is 16-0 all-time when going up 2-0 in a series. In the West, the Sharks are up against a team that has a 17-2 all-time success rate when taking a 2-0 playoff series lead. San Jose has lost all seven playoff series after falling behind 2-0.

The Blackhawks have been piling up victories on the road during the 2010 playoffs, and in San Jose, the top-seeded Sharks allowed their foe as successful a road swing as any. Chicago secured its record-tying seventh straight road win in the playoffs. Unless the Sharks can win at least one game in Chicago to avoid the sweep, the Sharks won't have another shot to win at home this post-season. But the Sharks can take solace in this: the Blackhawks haven't been at their best in Chicago during this post-season, winning just three of six.

The Canadiens do have the benefit of playing their next two games in Montreal and they also have had their share of practice in elimination games this post-season, boasting a 5-0 record.

Look at the factors that ailed these 0-2 teams in their losses so far in the conference finals. Philly goaltender Michael Leighton has stopped all 58 shots Montreal has thrown his way. Plus, the Habs who had the league's second-best power play this season, are 0-for-8 in the series. Jaroslav Halak, the hero of Montreal's upset wins over the Pens and Caps, hasn't been that much-needed game-stealer in this series.

So far, the Sharks are missing points from Dany Heatley, and are being thwarted by the scoring of Jonathan Toews, the checking of David Bolland and the physical play of Dustin Byfuglien.

So which 0-2 team has the tougher challenge to overcome? Is it San Jose, who must win on the road against a Chicago team lead by Jonathan Toews and rolling with positive momentum? Or is it Montreal, who has yet to score versus Philly and isn't enjoying the powerplay and goaltending dominance of its earlier success? Have your say in our 'Your Call' feature below.