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Sharks Have To Match Wings Effort

Sharks Hoping For A 3-0 Lead

Wednesday, 05.04.2011 / 2:33 PM / News
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Sharks Have To Match Wings Effort
The San Jose Sharks have done what they could to point out the differences between last year’s series with Detroit and this year’s version. However, with two one-goal victories preceding a Game 3 in Detroit, the characters may have changed some, but the results have been on the money.

Just like Game 3 in Hockeytown last year, Detroit fans will be in peak form and the opponent will come out fully charged. San Jose will be hoping for another repeat from last year: a Game 3 victory.

Detroit Red Wings center Valtteri Filppula, of Finland, center, collides with San Jose Sharks defenseman Jason Demers (60) and right wing Dany Heatley (15) during the first period in Game 1 of an NHL Western Conference semifinal Stanley Cup playoff hockey series game in San Jose, Calif., Friday, April 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
“It’s different circumstances, but for the most part we’ve got to play a desperate game and play like it’s a 0-0 series,” Jason Demers said. “We’re not looking too far ahead, just what’s in front of us. They’re going to be desperate and we’ve got to match that.”

“It seems with them coming home, it will be the hardest one and we expect tonight will be the hardest push,” Torrey Mitchell said. “We know they don’t want to fall far behind in the series and 3-0 is a pretty big mountain to climb. We expect their best hockey.”

The fan noise at Joe Louis Arena will be part of the push for the Wings, but playoff crowd noise can be a rush for both squads.

“Every building in the playoffs gives a lot of adrenaline and it’s fun when the fans support their team,” Demers said. “Personally, I enjoy it.”

The Sharks players know that a 3-0 series lead would be much different than a 2-1 advantage. They would still have the lead either way, but history says their odds would be dramatically better with a Wednesday victory.

“It’s very difficult to come back from a 3-0 deficit. We’re expecting their top game tonight,” Joe Thornton said.

“Our mindset is to continue to play desperate hockey even though we’re not in a desperate situation,” Mitchell said. “It’s tricky because we’re not down 2-0, but we just need to come in and focus on playing desperate. Two separate years but with the experience of going through it, hopefully we can do the same thing this year.”

Coach Todd McLellan noted the similarities between the two teams has taken a lot of the guess work out for the coaches and players.

“I think it eliminates most of the challenges,” McLellan said. “It’s black and white. It’s the 18 skaters completing hard. There aren’t secrets or trick plays coming into play. I know Mike (Detroit Head Coach Babcock) well enough to know he’s not changing the way he plays at this point. He believes his team can play harder and I believe our team can play harder. It’s very simple. It’s easier in that sense.”

The boards in Detroit have a well deserved reputation for sending the puck quickly back into play, but the Sharks players are prepared for those oddities.

“They’re lively so you have to be ready,” Patrick Marleau said. “Any shot that goes toward the net could end up in front of the net, even if it misses. It can work to your advantage or your disadvantage, so you have to be ready at all times.”

Demers was a seventh defenseman or a healthy scratch at times in last year’s postseason. Now that experience has been beneficial as he holds a regular defensive spot.

“It’s different for sure,” Demers said. “Last year, I just had to be ready for anything (playing or not). I enjoy this more. It’s more fun to know what’s going on all the time. It’s different with a little more experience. There are no surprises.”

Logan Couture’s parents would normally make the drive to Detroit from Ontario to watch him play, but they're dealing with expired passports and will have to rely on the television.

“They’re stuck in Canada to watch at home,” Couture said. “I think it’s both of them. If it was just my mom’s, I’m sure my dad would come over. And vice-versa.”

Babcock pointed out his line situation when addressing the media and then stated that McLellan would respond by flipping positions with Marleau and Couture.

“When it comes to that, it’s not going to matter,” McLellan said. “It’s going to be five players on the ice competing. They’re all talented, they’ve all played in these situations before. We never get exactly what we want as a coach anyhow. I think way too much is made of matches.”

If Marleau does indeed center a line and Couture plays on the wing with Thornton, McLellan pointed out one advantage.

“Size down the middle,” McLellan said. “(Pavel) Datsyuk and (Henrik) Zetterberg are very talented players, but they’re also strong on pucks. Patrick Marleau is 6-foot-2, 225 pounds and can skate very well. Not that Logan Couture can’t do it given that opportunity. (It’s) to put size and strength down the middle.”

Babcock said he was putting Kris Draper into the lineup, but Draper was pretty funny after the morning skate when it was pointed out that Babcock had yet to officially designate him.

“He didn’t confirm, eh,” Draper said. “I’m going. I’ll confirm it.”

The veteran, who hasn't played the first two games of the series, definitely drew laughter during his media scrum after the morning skate.

Game 3 will be at 5 p.m. on CSN California, 98.5/102.1 K-FOX FM and




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


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
A. Stalock 12 5 2 .932 1.87
A. Niemi 39 17 7 .913 2.39
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