Sharks Ready for "Best Game"

Sharks recognize the Red Wing's ability to bounce back

Tuesday, 05.04.2010 / 2:56 PM / News
By San Jose Sharks Staff
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Sharks Ready for \"Best Game\"
The San Jose Sharks faced a desperate Colorado team in Denver looking to avoid elimination and that proved to be a difficult game. The Red Wings, while not facing elimination, may be even more desperate considering the potential of Game 3 and they have considerably more talent. If the Red Wings fall and go down 3-0, they will be forced to try and come back from a deficit that has only occurred twice in NHL history.

“We expect the best game of the series and possibly the playoffs,” said Dan Boyle. “They are too good of a team. This is going to be their best game, their best start. Their mindset is they want to win both games here and they are going to give us their best effort. We don’t expect anything less.”

“If there is one team that is capable of coming back from this type of deficit,” the Sharks defenseman pointed out, “It’s them. We don’t underestimate them at all.”

The momentum created from a loud crowd at Joe Louis Arena will be siding with Detroit.

“The start will be important,” said Boyle. “Matchups are different on the road. We had it to our advantage at home and got to play the guys we wanted to against their guys. It’s going to be the other way around now. We mentioned the last couple of days, guys are going to be put in different positions playing different guys. We’re going to need to elevate our game as well.”

The Sharks will use their internal drives to match what Detroit will bring to the table.

“Just match their intensity,” said Joe Pavelski. “The biggest thing is, you know they have been saying it is a do or die game for them. We have to accept that and do what it’s going to take for us to win.”

“We just need to make sure we come out and we’re ready for it,” said Devin Setoguchi.

TRAVEL
Both San Jose and Detroit flew across three time zones to get ready for this game, but they are in a similar situation.

“We got in at dinner time and had a nice team dinner. It’s the same for both teams,” said Boyle. “You have to be ready when the puck drops. There is no excuse there.”

LIMITING POINT SHOTS
The Red Wings are so good at parking a player in front of the crease that San Jose has to be extra attentive to preventing shots from the point. That way, the skater in front of the crease has no chance at a deflection or to be a screen.

“As much as (Holmstrom) is effective, their D-men have to get the puck there first,” said McLellan. “They are very good at it. Nicklas Lidstrom can change the shooting angles as good as anyone in the league. He is very accurate. Kronwell, Stuart, Rafalski, they all get the pucks there. We can help ourselves by not letting as many get through. It’s a fact of life in this series. We’re aware of it, but we’re not going to overextend ourselves in that area.”

LINEUP
The morning skate made it appear that the Sharks would use the same lineup as Game 2, with Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton and Dany Heatley skating together.

ADDRESSING A HOT SCORER
Joe Pavelski seems to have the attention of everyone in the hockey world.

“My wife actually mentioned it to me yesterday,” said Babcock. ”I was driving the kids around and when we got back my wife said to me, ‘Where’s that Pavelski from?’ and I said, ‘Why?’ ‘Well, he’s a stud.’ And I said, ‘Well, he played at Wisconsin – thanks for the tip.’”

The Sharks leading scorer in the postseason simply hopes to keep riding the wave.

“Things are going well and the whole line is coming to play,” said Pavelski. “I think so (about the best he’s ever played). It’s a big time of the year and the intensity that comes with it is the highest. It is fun to work hard and get rewarded.”

THE BOX
The Red Wings will be making a concentrated effort to try and not have ten trips to the penalty box again, but the Sharks will be required to be smart about penalties themselves if they want to go up 3-0.

“We expect them to tighten up their own game,” said Setoguchi. “We’ve got to make sure we doing things to stay out of the box too. They’ve got a lot of skill on that team. If you are in the box, they are going to make you pay. Just keep going with it.”

The Sharks have one overriding theory in being one of the least penalized clubs in the playoffs.

“We have an expression, check with your legs,” said Setoguchi. “If you can keep your stick away and use your legs, you won’t be in a position to take a penalty. We’ve done a good job the first two games of using our legs to get body position.”

“We talk before every game, making sure we check using our legs,” said McLellan. “We are prepared to check properly and to stay out of the penalty box as best we can.”

SUCCESS
Joe Louis Arena was built before the modern rush of arenas and definitely brings an old-school feel to the games.

“There are always tough games here,” said Kent Huskins. “It’s a great barn with a great atmosphere. I think the character of this building is unmistakable. It is a genuine original and a fun place to play. You have to bring your best game or you won’t be in the game very long.”

DIFFERENT ROLES
When Logan Couture skates with Manny Malhotra, Malhotra takes all the faceoffs, but Couture is the center of the group. Couture started with Thornton and Heatley the last game and lined up as a winger.

“It was fun,” said Couture. “In our system, you really don’t do different things as a winger or a centerman. The first man back in the zone takes the centerman’s job. It’s not that big of a difference. Playing with those two was really fun. I enjoyed it.”

VISITORS
With the Sharks sitting just across the river from Canada, Detroit is a place where many of the eastern Canadian players’ families can more easily get to and cheer on their sons for the playoffs.

GAME 3
Game 3 will take place at 4:30 p.m. and will be aired on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 82 41 38 23 79
J. Thornton 82 11 65 20 76
P. Marleau 82 33 37 0 70
L. Couture 65 23 31 21 54
B. Burns 69 22 26 26 48
T. Wingels 77 16 22 11 38
D. Boyle 75 12 24 -8 36
J. Demers 75 5 29 14 34
T. Hertl 37 15 10 11 25
M. Nieto 66 10 14 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Stalock 12 5 2 .932 1.87
A. Niemi 39 17 7 .913 2.39
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