When the San Jose Sharks earned 11 of 12 points on their last homestand, the bandwagon was full of people saying they were a playoff lock. Now they have lost two in a row and the flow is going in the other direction. Fortunately, the Sharks know to stay off the emotional ride and are just focusing on winning the next contest.
“The other teams are trying to win too,” said Coach Ron Wilson. “You lose a couple and everyone says you’re out and you win four in a row and everyone says you’re in.”
“It is easy to get caught on the emotional roller coaster,” Wilson continued. “This is a long process that will last until the end. Every time you lose now, it makes a difference, but nobody is perfect and you have to bounce right back.”
No matter how well any of the teams battling for the postseason play, they are not likely to rattle off 10 consecutive victories.
“Has Tiger Woods ever had a bogey or had a bad day,” questioned Wilson. “You have to put a bad day behind you and get ready for the next game.”
Still, the tough part is watching the scoreboard every night since there is no official point total that will guarantee a playoff spot.
“It is so hard to determine with three-point games,” he said. “There are a lot of teams in our conference way ahead of us who haven’t clinched a playoff spot. We still have a couple of games in hand.”
Even in their 2003-04 Pacific Division title season, the Sharks didn’t clinch a playoff spot until very late in the campaign.
“Last season, we clinched with seven or eight games to go,” said Wilson. “If we make it this year, we may not know until our last night of the season. Most teams we’re going against finish on April 17th as well.”
San Jose would prefer to start back on the winning track on Saturday against Phoenix, a team that has troubled them all season.
“Right now, we have to get ready for the next game and be concerned with what we need to do,” said Wilson.
It was noted after Thursday’s contest that the Sharks weren’t as intense as the Coyotes.
“We need to match their intensity and bring our game,” said Scott Parker. “We hope to get our two points and move on. Win or lose, you can’t look too much to the past.”
CHEECHOO & McCAULEY HOPEFUL None of the Sharks took to the ice Friday afternoon at Logitech. Right wing Jonathan Cheechoo missed the conclusion of Thursday’s contest and could be back in the lineup Saturday. The same is possible for Alyn McCauley, who missed his first contest in 170 games Thursday night with a lower body injury.
NEXT GAME San Jose will conclude their brief two-game homestand Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. against the Coyotes at HP Pavilion. The game will be aired on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com. Tickets can still be purchased at the HP Pavilion Box Office or www.ticketmaster.com.