San Jose, CA–Good afternoon San Jose Sharks fans!!!!!! Today marks the start of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals between your San Jose Sharks and the Los Angeles Kings. It had seem like it’s been forever since we last saw team teal in action. For the second series in a row, the Sharks open on the road, this time at Staples Center.
This playoff matchup will be the second time in both clubs history in the postseason. For San Jose, this is the third time in franchise history when facing a California team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (2009 ANA, 2010 LA).
The last time the LA Kings opened a playoff round on home ice was in 1992. This beg’s the question, will the Kings use this first home ice situation in over 20 years to their advantage or will the Sharks steal a game or two in SoCal?
On Monday, San Jose felt different going into their private practice at Logitech Sharks Ice because they finally knew who their round two opponent was going to be. They had been waiting almost a full week since they swept the Vancouver Canucks in the first round last Tuesday night in overtime.
During their waiting period, the Sharks spent time getting back to game shape. In fact they had been practicing since Friday.
“They are antsy,” coach Todd McLellan said. “They haven’t been involved in this type of break this year at all. This is the longest that’s occurred. You can tell in practice they’re like racehorses. They’re ready to run.”
“We all want to play hockey right now,” center Logan Couture said. “Guys were excited. We’re anxious to get going. Pretty pumped up.”
For the hosts of the night, they know this will be a different series vs. the previous one against the ST. Louis Blues.
“I don’t think it will be as physical of a series,” Doughty said on Tuesday morning. “They have some guys that play physical, but they’re more of a skilled group. I think there will be a little bit more room to make plays, but at the same time that’s the thing they’re best at. We’ve got to take that away from them.”
Following his first comment, Kings defensemen Drew Doughty added this about the San Jose Sharks.
“They go to the net hard. I think that’s one of their best attributes. Every single guy on that team bulldozes their way to the net,” Doughty said. “It’s tough to defend.”
San Jose understands that in this series against LA, their opponent is not got be marching to box much as often as Vancouver did.
“You know that one power play goal can make or break a game for you, especially against this team,” Colin Fraser said. “Number one, you’ve got to stay disciplined. We’re a physical team and we play hard, that’s our identity. We’ve got to do it between the whistles and not take penalties, because they’ve got some firepower over there that can score on the power play.”
Tale of the Tape:
Who’s hot: Sharks centers Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture tied for the team lead with eight points each in their four-game first-round sweep of the Vancouver Canucks. … Kings forward Jeff Carter scored three of his team’s 12 goals in Los Angeles’ six-game first-round series win against the St. Louis Blues.
Tonight’s matchup will televised nationally in United States on the NBC Sports Network. For our friends in Canada, they’ll enjoy televised coverage courtesy of TSN. As for our local listeners on the radio its available on 98.5/102.1 KFOX.
LET’S GO SHARKS!!!!!!!!
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