SAN JOSE- There is no doubt that being up 2-0 in a best of seven series and returning home for games three and four is a great place to be. However, if the San Jose Sharks lose game three at home to the Vancouver Canucks, they would then only be one loss away from giving back home ice advantage.
Now sure, San Jose has proven they can win in Vancouver but needing to win a best of three with two games on the road is a tough task for any club. And if San Jose finds themselves in that position, all the momentum will be in the Canucks dressing room.
The Sharks are a veteran group that realize what is at stake and how fast things can change. Defenseman Brad Stuart not only won a cup in Detroit but he was a part of the 2004 Sharks team that dropped the first two games of the Western Conference final at home only two win the next two in Calgary. He spoke after Sunday’s morning skate about having a short memory.
“This is another game, the previous two games don’t matter. You know if [we] come in and have a bad game tonight, suddenly that game we just won in overtime doesn’t really mean anything. So we got to almost forget that it’s a 2-0 series, treat it like Game 1 looking to get that edge. That will be important for us to have that mindset where it’s a must win for us too.”
Sharks head coach Todd McLellan commented about the need to match Vancouver’s desperation level.
“Our [desperation level] better be very high. We’re up 2-0 but it only means something if we compete and play hard right off the bat here [tonight]. So our desperation has to be up there. This isn’t a series that is a runaway by any means. It’s a shot, it’s a bounce, it’s a post, and it could be reversed the other way, it’s that even.”
The Sharks may have won Game 2 with a late push and an overtime winner by Raffi Torres but Vancouver noticeably upped their game on Friday night. Sharks center Logan Couture knows his team needs to be better still.
“[We] just need to play better.” commented the star center. “They stepped up their game a little bit last game and we need to step it up again.”
Puck drop for Game 3 tonight at 10 ET
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