The Vancouver Canucks awoke Saturday morning with a bitter taste in their mouths following a 3-2 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks Friday night.
After a well-played game by the home team, who led 2-1 with less than a minute to play in regulation, the Canucks gave up a late goal and Raffi Torres had the game-winner to put the Sharks up 2-0 in the best-of-seven Western Conference Quarterfinal series.
So, what now?
“I think you wake up today and you look forward to tomorrow,” said Henrik Sedin, one of four players to address the media at the airport before the Canucks boarded for San Jose.
“We can’t look at this as winning four straight, it’s about tomorrow, the first five minutes, take care of that and then go from there.”
What Henrik is essentially saying is that it’s all about baby steps.
“We’ve got to go in there and play with some confidence and knowing that if we play like we did yesterday, we have a good shot at winning,” said captain Sedin, who took the loss in Game 2 especially hard.
“It was one of the toughest losses in a while. We played a great game, they scored late and then in overtime and being down 2-0 is a lot tougher than being tied 1-1.”
As Thomas Drance pointed out in his Numbers Game feature today, the Canucks will head into Game 3 looking to become just the nineteenth team in NHL history to come back in a series in which they lost their first two contests at home.
For Vancouver to storm back, it needs goal production from its best goal scorers, the Sedins.
“We’ve got to hit the back of the net that’s the only answer I can give you,” said Henrik, in response to what he, Daniel and linemate Alex Burrows can do better in Game 3. “You can create chances, you can do whatever you want, if you don’t score, you’re not going to win.
“We should have had a few goals, that’s what we think about today. We had the effort, we had the chances, hit some skates and Niemi made some great saves. Same for us as the rest of the team, we have to go in there tomorrow and play the same way.
Off to San Jose we go.
“It’s tough being down 2-0, but we’re going into San Jose with no pressure, it’s a must-win game and no one is believing in us except for us. That’s the way we’ve got to look at it.”