SAN JOSE, Calif. - Familiarity with rinks. Loud fans providing a boost of energy. Dictating matchups with the last line change.
Joe Thornton and the San Jose Sharks aren't exactly sure why home teams have been winning games in the NHL playoffs at a clip not seen in more than three decades. They just hope that trend continues for Game 6 on Sunday night when they look to stave off elimination against the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and force a decisive seventh game. Then they can try to figure out how to stop it.
The home team has won all five games of this series so far with the Kings holding a 3-2 edge. In fact, the home team has won all nine games between these teams this year.
Your team is going to want to recapture the feeling. What they're going to have to figure out is they're going to have to rewrite the story. Because you're going to rewrite the story doesn't mean you want a different end. It's just that you're going to have to learn that there's different challenges to get there, and if you're going to try and tap the same feeling, it ain't going to happen.
— Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi on maintaining their success from last season