If there is one thing that can be counted on for tonight’s Game 6 of the Sharks-Ducks series, it is the physical intensity will at worst remain the same and in all likelihood, increase.
The series has not been dirty by any means, but the physicality has been strong during all five games.
“The early games have been physical, but a lot of it has been between the whistles,” said Ryane Clowe
. “No one wants to take any penalties. No one wants to give the other team a chance on the power play.”
“I thought it was more physical the last game,” said Brad Lukowich. “I know I got hit a lot more the last game.”
Clowe enjoys the physical contact during play, but says that the series hasn’t stepped outside the boundaries and he prefers it that way.
“I’ve never been a big fan of the after the whistle stuff,” said Clowe. “It’s more about standing your ground and making them try to push out from out in front (of the crease).”
Both teams have the bodies and expect both to be using them tonight.
“These are two big strong teams that like to throw the bodies around,” said Travis Moen who is hoping to knock out the club he won a championship with.
The Sharks may only be playing Game 6, but they view it as a Game 7 since they can’t afford a loss.
“We have to play it shift by shift,” said Lukowich, who wants the Sharks to play even tighter defensively. “If they don’t score, there is no possible way they can win.”
Lukowich likens the defensive plans as more of a refocusing of the clubs season long efforts.
“We got away from our game,” said Lukowich. “A lot of our focus is on defense instead of trying to outscore them.”
Team Teal feels that if they eliminate their mistakes from earlier, it will be much easier to squash Anaheim’s chances.
“A lot of their goals have been on our mistakes,” said Lukowich.
START AND FINISH
Everyone is talking about San Jose getting off to the good start, but there will be at least 60 minutes in which to make the difference.
“We talked about it a lot (a fast start),” said Todd McLellan. “I don’t know if the most important minute will be the first or the 60th.”
But a bad first five minutes could prevent the 60th minute from being important.
There is still potential for a seventh game, but for the Ducks, they would like nothing more than to close things out in their final home game of the series.
“I’m sure they would like to win in front of their fans,” said Moen. “We want to take it back to San Jose.”
MORE TO COME
McLellan has noted how vital the efforts were of Patrick Marleau
and Joe Thornton
were in Game 5 and he’s comfortable they will be strong again.
“I have a really good sense of how they are going to come and play,” said McLellan.
However, McLellan was direct that he would like to see a bit more out of the line of Joe Pavelski
, Ryane Clowe
and Milan Michalek.
“Our second line scored 70 goals all year and has one now,” said McLellan.
NO BIG TALKS
McLellan says it’s not about him rousing up his club with big lockerroom rants.
“The guys know what’s at stake,” said McLellan. “I don’t have to draw them a picture.”
Game 6 will be at 7:30 p.m. and will be on CSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.