So what do the Sharks need to do to win game 2. I would say based on the quotes below play the same way they did in game 1 but with more edge, grit and desperation in the offensive zone.
Here are some telling quotes from the last few days.
Jarret Stoll - before the series discussing what the Kings need to do in this series
“There’s probably 5 or 6 guys on that team that we’ve got to neutralize, and we’ve got to shut down, get in their face, make it a very uncomfortable game for them. That’s what playoffs are all about – making it uncomfortable, taking away time and space, getting people out of their comfort zone and staying out of the box too.”
Stoll's quote is very telling and LA played that way in game 1 and were victorious. Now take a look at some of the quotes from the Sharks after game 1.
Head Coach Todd McLellan
“I spent six days reviewing the St. Louis series, and I heard a lot of the same stuff coming out of their mouths,” McLellan said. “We didn’t accomplish enough. There is a team that just played against them for six nights, and said they had a lot of chances and the goaltender made a number of saves. We can’t be that team again. We’ve got to find ways to score, and we’ve got to make it a lot harder on him.”
“Guys weren’t committed to getting in front of him (Quick), so that needs to change. They check tight. You’ve got to beat their guy out of the corner to get to the net, and we weren’t able to do that.”
“Our effort was pretty good,” Boyle said. “But, it’s probably a broken record with what St. Louis went through. I read that they felt they possibly were the better team in the series, they just weren’t scoring enough goals. We’ve got to get a little hungrier and a little dirtier and a little meaner in front of their net.”
“We feel we can play with them. After tonight, everyone in this room feels they are beatable. It's not going to be easy, obviously. They are the Stanley Cup champs, a team that has learned how to win."
Pavelski said it very well, the Sharks know they can beat the Kings but it won't be easy. I am going to re-visit my RAM Trucks 3 Keys to the Series because they were applicable in game 1, will be applicable tonight and throughout the series. This is as much a mental battle as it is a physical one.
Tight checking. Low scoring. Always someone in your face. No time or space. That's LA hockey and it's frustrating to play against and tests your moxie and patience. The Sharks have to be prepared for 60 minutes plus every night with air-tight defense first hockey that requires incredible focus and concentration.
2. Every battle counts ... a lot!
This is LA's bread and butter - they wear you down by winning battles which wears you down mentally. The Sharks match up well in this category but it will take an enormous toll every shift, every period, every game.
3. Confidence thru goaltending
When your goalie exudes confidence it reverberates throughout the lineup because the players know the last line of defense is the goalie and he has you covered if you make a mistake. Niemi vs Quick is an enticing matchup because they are the goalies who have won 2 of the last 3 Stanley Cups and they are both on top of their game right now.