-- Just another day at the office.
That was the San Jose Sharks
' mentality before, during and after this morning's pregame skate at Joe Louis Arena.
The Sharks own a 3-0 lead in their Western Conference Semifinal series with the Detroit Red Wings
and can send the perennial power home for the summer with a win Thursday night (7:30 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN), yet they were attempting to treat the day leading up to the contest as routine as possible.
"To get to where we need to be, that's the way it has to be," Sharks captain Rob Blake
said. "We treat every game with a similar purpose, that we're going to play the way we need to play and go from there.
"The excitement is in the game itself. You can't predict what's going to happen. You go out and do your job and things will fall into place."
Blake said he was planning to take an afternoon nap as usual after returning to the team hotel.
"Well, I'll try to," he said, smiling.
Defenseman Dan Boyle
said he's been around long enough not to get too excited about the prospect of closing out the Red Wings.
"Not at 33-years-old," he said. "Even after Game 3, we had three or four minutes of happiness and then it was kind of back to normal. That's the way it's got to be. There're different schools of thought, but I personally believe in the one where you just have to look at the here and now, and not what's ahead."
Boyle was a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning
team that won the Stanley Cup in 2004. The Lightning swept the Montreal Canadiens
in four games in the second round.
"But it can go the other way real quick," he said. "It hasn't happened to me, but I've seen teams where you lose one, lose two, and all of a sudden it's 3-3 and it's 'Oh, what happened?' You got to take care of business when you can."
The Sharks are well aware of what the Red Wings did to the Phoenix Coyotes
in Game 7 of their first-round series, skating to an easy 6-1 win on the road when it appeared Detroit's season might have run its course.
Coyotes coach Dave Tippett
said after the game that the Coyotes felt they had been in a hurricane, a comment the Sharks haven't forgotten.
"They're not going away," Sharks coach Todd McLellan
said of the Red Wings. "They're going to come out and play hard and if we're on our heels, we'll have a hurricane on our hands. If we're on our toes, we'll find a way to deal with it.
"If it was another team that didn't have the rich history and the experience that this Red Wings team has, maybe we could get ahead of ourselves. But I think they're actually helping us in that preparation because we have that respect for them."
The Sharks needed six games to eliminate the Colorado Avalanche
in the second round in 2004, the only other time in their history they took a 3-0 lead in a playoff series.
"We're trying to win four games," Sharks center Joe Pavelski
said. "That's all you can really think about, this game. This is the only game we have on the schedule and we're trying to earn more games. We're trying to earn another round. It's important that we realize it's the only game on our schedule.
"We've done it all year, so it can't be too much different."