Game 2 in San Jose means a lot in one sense, but in another, the series won’t end no matter what the outcome.
“For us it’s more reestablishing momentum,” said McLellan. “We have to do that every night. You have to earn it again and start from scratch. Our execution has to be better than Game 1 for us to have a chance at winning. From there we have to play for a full 60 minutes. If you take five to seven minutes off, you could be out of the game.”
If San Jose wins they can take a strong 2-0 lead and will have held home ice in the second round.
Detroit will be doing everything possible to avoid that and earn a split on HP Pavilion ice.
“They’re looking to win this one because then they can say they did what they wanted to do,” said Ryan Clowe. “Taking home ice advantage. It’s all game-by-game and tonight will be a good game to establish home ice.”
For as fun as Game 1 was, both sides feel they can bring more to the table in the second battle.
“We can still pick it up a notch and be better and they are going to try and be better from the last game,” said Clowe.
The Sharks aren’t expecting the Wings to simply let them maintain their home ice advantage and realize the commitment that will be coming from the other side.
“The teams are so even,” said Clowe. “The teams will make adjustments and come out harder. Things happen during a game, there are so many momentum swings. For us tonight, we are looking to win.”
Both sides are aware of the quality facing them and that momentum will go back and forth throughout the night.
“I think both teams know that whatever happens during the game, we have the ability to get back in the game if we get down a goal or two,” said Clowe. “Detroit was down by three and they scored a couple of quick ones. I’m sure they respect our offence and we respect theirs. You have to keep you foot on the gas and stick with it and whoever does if harder and longer will win.”
The Worcester Sharks are tied at two in their second round playoff series with Manchester and the players who spent a lot of time there this season are keeping tabs on their past teammates.
“They won last night and that was good to see,” said Dwight Helminen. “Now it’s 2-2. I talked to trainer Matt White to see how the guys are doing.”
“I talk to them every day,” said Jamie McGinn. “Last night I talked on the phone with Joslin. He scored the goal with 34 seconds left and he’s been really hot these playoffs. I’m really happy for him because we grew up together and we played in Ottawa together. We keep close tabs on each other and there are a bunch of guys in Worcester I talk with to I’m really happy for them that they are winning down there two.”
The players in San Jose would have it no other way, but they are also vested in what happens in Worcester.
“You play with them all year and help them get to where they are and now (watching) them battle from here,” said Helminen. “I played a couple of games and we played well. It was 1-1 when I got called up and they went on and won.”
Helminen said there is a nice reminder that the Worcester club is performing well in spite of losing players down the stretch like Helminen and Logan Couture
“Wayne (Thomas) every day makes sure we know every day they win without us and laughs,” said Helminen.
Short of acknowledging that Patrick Marleau
will skate in Game 2, Todd McLellan wouldn’t reveal much about how his lines would be set.
“Patty will be back into the lineup,” said McLellan.
That will force someone else out of the lineup and that will be known “at game time.”
The Sharks were 8-1-1 when Jamie McGinn scored in the regular season, so maybe there could be a correlation for the playoffs.
“We need him to score a few more if that is what the numbers are,” said McLellan.
McLellan feels that in a game of matching moves, this series might have less unknown commodities than all others due to the head coaches’ history with each other.
“In this series their might be the fewest secrets of any series we’ve been involved in,” said McLellan. “There are a lot of similarities between the two teams and you can’t recreate the way you play. You have to play it harder. It might be less of a chess match than the other (series).”
Game 2 against Detroit will be at 5 p.m. at HP Pavilion and will be on Versus, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.