Previewing The Stars-Sharks

Deadspin's NHL Conference Semifinal Series Previews are being brought to you by Melt Your Face Off, where hockey is the official religion but all the editors are atheists. MYFO's Weed Against Speed breaks down the Dallas/San Jose series.

Larry Hagman and Burt Bacharach. The last time these two were names were associated together was when they were caught snorting blow out of Joyce DeWitt's asscrack at the Playboy Mansion in 1981. Oh, to be a fly on the wall that night.

Moving on, let's get to the series between the Sharks and the Stars. Jerseys with the color cleverly named "Pacific Teal" in them versus jerseys which used to have a giant "N" on the them. Ahem.

The prevailing story heading into the series is the animosity between these two Pacific Division rivals. In the regular season finale between the squads, 160 penalty minutes were assessed, including 90 in the first period alone. Five fights took place as well, including the one below between Steve Ott and the NHL's reigning regular season assists leader Joe Thornton.

Players To Keep Your Eye On:

For the Sharks, you have to include Joe Thornton in this discussion but cannot forget about Patrick Marleau, the team captain. Perhaps the most important player in the series for the Sharks is trade deadline acquisition Brian Campbell. Upon his arrival, Campbell got red-hot, with 19 points in 20 regular season games for San Jose. His production dipped a little bit in the playoffs (3 points), but look for him to get it going again in this series. Ryane Clowe led the team with eight points in the first round series against the Flames.

For the Stars, you have to begin with The Guy Who Gets To Bang Willa Ford Whenever He Chooses, otherwise known as Mike Modano. The ageless Modano tallied five goals and six assists in eight games against the Sharks this season. The key trade deadline move for the Stars was obtaining Brad Richards from Tampa Bay, who had 11 points in 12 games for the Stars. Mike Ribeiro leads the team with eight points in the postseason. The biggest question mark for the Stars is Sergei Zubov. Out since January 17th, Zubie practiced with the team on Wednesday, so his return could be imminent.

Key Stat - Home Ice May Be A Meaningless Factor In This Series:

In splitting the season series 4-4, the visiting team won the first six games.

If I Could Determine The Stakes Of The Wagers Between The Civic Leaders of Dallas and San Jose, I Would Pick:

If the Stars win, San Jose, as the self-proclaimed "capital of Silicon Valley," would allow the Mayor of Dallas to be the first person allowed to test out Adobe Systems' poorly conceived virtual reality software, Adobe Acroscat.

If the Sharks win, the Mayor of San Jose gets all the Texas Longhorn beef he can eat while simultaneously getting his knob gobbled by a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader.

If I Were Forced To Select A Woman Born In Each City And Watch Them Mud Wrestle, I Would Have To Choose:

Previewing The Stars-SharksS

Dallas native Brooke Burns

Previewing The Stars-SharksS

San Jose native Sheri Moon Zombie

A YouTube Video Breakdown Of The Series By A Fan:

Look out, Kige, the Crempster is moving in on your territory.

Prediction:

Sharks in 6.