Reaching the Stanley Cup Playoffs presented by Intersil eight times in the last nine seasons, the core of the San Jose Sharks have become used to the pressure situations that accompany the extra play. That, combined with necessary adjustments, helped the Sharks to a 4-1 series victory over the Nashville Predators, their first round opponent.
Following a 4-3 loss to the Predators – in which they allowed four power play goals – the Sharks rallied to sweep the remaining four, closing the series out with a 2-1 road victory.
Captain Patrick Marleau
led by example, setting a Sharks franchise record by scoring seven goals in the playoff series. He earned his third career playoff hat trick with his three-goal performance in Game Four of the series.
By ending the series early, the Sharks have time to rest and re-energize for their next series. The Sharks second round match-up is yet to be determined, but can be against any of the following teams: Calgary, Colorado, Anaheim or Edmonton.
“We’ve got a couple guys that are nicked up, so it’s going to be a good couple of days to rest and get refocused and reenergize the body,” said Thornton. “It’s nice to wrap it up here.”
While the energy and attitude is good in the Sharks locker room, Team Teal is far from being over-confident or even satisfied. With expectations increasing due to their late season success and past playoff experience, the team has become guarded against becoming complacent. The goal is the Stanley Cup and nothing short of it.
“We didn’t come here to win just one round,” said Wilson. “That’s not why we played so hard down the stretch. We want to continue to improve and we want a shot at the cup…simple. Now we have to wait to see who we play, prepare and rest up.”