Alright Vancouver, help me out here. The Green Man I get, and I hear they’re kind of a big deal in your fair city, and to his left that looks to be Ryan Kesler wearing aviators while dressed as Superman, a Superman who happens to wear Kool-Aid boxers. Sure, makes sense. But you’re losing me on the eggheads. Explain?
San Jose is familiar with 3-1 series leads
The problem is that they’re familiar with holding the lead, and nearly losing it. If the Sharks narrowly held onto a 3-1 series lead against Detroit, is there much reason to believe they can thrive on the opposite end of the spectrum and build enough momentum for a comeback against Vancouver? Probably not, but as head coach Todd McLellan says, his team should have learned a lot from their experience against the resilient Red Wings.
“You could tell Detroit’s goal was just to bring the series back to Detroit. They believed they could win Game 6 there. They were hanging their hat on it and they did it. All of a sudden the pressure turned.”
Vancouver is familiar with blowing leads
All that matters is the end result and the series win of course, and Harrison Mooney from Pass It To Bulis told us during our daily Podcast that a loss tonight won’t make Vancouver fans nervous. That’s good, because we’re almost two rounds removed from Vancouver’s near first round debacle, and with a two-game lead Canucks fans have every reason to be confident.
Now that I’ve boosted a sense of confidence that didn’t need to be boosted in Vancouver, it’s still worrisome that the Canucks have been outscored 22-12 in their six potential close-out games this spring.
If it is momentum you seek, it is the powerplay you must find
A San Jose powerplay unit that ranked second overall during the regular season and converted at a 23.5% clip is now operating at 18.8%, and has whiffed on its last five opportunities. Fear the Fin thinks a powerplay goal isn’t required to secure a win tonight, but it would be pretty nice.
Capitalizing on the man advantage early on would work wonders in getting their legs underneath them, inject the life that they’ll need on the road, and put them in a much more fortuitous situation to achieve victory. It’s probably the biggest key for tonight, especially with even strength scoring struggling as it has throughout this series.
Jason Demers can’t tell a lie
The Sharks defenceman has been out since Game 7 of the Detroit series with an upper-body ailment. Prior to the other games against the Canucks, Demers couldn’t honestly say he was fully healthy. But that’s not the case tonight, and McLellan said there’s a chance Demers will play, meaning veteran Kent Huskins would be scratched,