The San Jose Sharks gave up yet another game to the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night, tying the series at 3-3. Only three teams in the history of the NHL have come back from a three game deficit to win a series. The Sharks don’t want to be on the losing end of a historical game if the Kings manage the win.
Gaining momentum will be a difficult task, but the Sharks are capable and need to bring their A-game to the ice on Wednesday.
First, the Sharks can’t focus on losing the past three games. Coming back to the SAP Center has the potential to boost morale. Logan Couture says it great:
In my mind, if it gets to Game 7, it doesn’t matter how it gets there. It gets there, and you’re going for one game. We played all year for the home ice. I’m sure our building is going to be loud. We’ve got to turn this thing around and win that game.
Exactly. Focus on the game at hand, get past the last three and let the fans boost momentum. In the playoffs anything can happen and the shift between who dominates can switch at a moment’s notice.
The Sharks also need more from their top forwards. Take a look at Sharks’ Captain as an example. Joe Thornton has no points throughout the past three games and currently has a -4 plus-minus rating. Sure, Thornton’s rarely the primary goal scorer, but not having any assists over three playoff games is pretty bad. And it’s not just Joe. The rest of the usual top players need to step it up. Joe Pavelski only has one shot on goal over the past two games and Marleau hasn’t scored since the overtime winning goal in Game 3. McLellan stated that the “big guys are going to have to find a way to get on the board at some point. We have done it before and can do it again.”
Anything can happen during this final game. The Sharks deserve the chance to battle yet another CA rival in the semifinals.