Consistency vs. Inconsistency

Officially, the top-seed Western Conference semi-final series is the #1 Detroit Red Wings vs. the #5 San Jose Sharks. In reality, it’s inconsistency vs consistency. Detroit has very little consistency. The players to watch change from game to game. Despite being an offensive powerhouse, Detroit has no league scoring leaders, because the goals get spread all around. San Jose, on the other hand, as a consistent powerhouse in Joe Thornton. He is always the man to watch. In fact the Sharks are so consistent, they score exactly 2 goals per game against the Wings. No more, no less. Winning or losing is solely in the hands of the Detroit goal scorers. If they can score 2 or more, they win. If they can’t, there’s no hope. So far the series is tied 2-2. What’s that say for the value of consistency? Too soon to tell.

Don’t let the “#5” fool you. The Sharks are no slouches. During the regular season, they won 51 games. The Wings only won 50. How a team with 51 wins gets the #5 seed and a team with 50 wins gets the #1 seed is a miracle of NHL mathematics. The Red Wings lost more games in overtime than the Sharks did, and losing in overtime gets you a point in the regular season because it supposedly means something. I’m not sure what, though, because losing in OT during the playoffs means absolutely nothing. San Jose can attest to that.

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