Now that the Western Conference Semifinal match up between the Sharks and Oilers is all tied up at two, the teams traveled back to San Jose Saturday in preparation for Game 5. Looking to at least get a split in Edmonton, the Sharks couldn’t accomplish that, as the Oilers and their fans proved to be too much for Team Teal.
With that said, the Sharks are excited to get back home and play in front of their fans at HP Pavilion. Despite two consecutive losses, the Sharks have kept their poise and remain just as loose and as confident as they have all year.
“It’s turned into a best of three series and we have home ice,” said Vesa Toskala. “We knew it’d be tough to get wins in their building, now we’ll look to make it tough for them in ours. Everyone is relaxed and we feel good, so it’s going to be a good game.”
“We’re fine,” said Joe Thornton
. “It’s the best two-of-three now and we have home ice. Nothing is going to stop us from coming out tomorrow and playing hard.”
One thing the Sharks will be looking to improve on from the last two games is playing a full 60 minute game and not letting up in the end. In both games in Edmonton, the Sharks held the lead, but the Oilers came back and won both contests. San Jose must remain on the attack rather than sit back and preserve their lead.
“We haven’t taken care of the lead and we’ve let a couple slip away,” said Joe Thornton
“We had opportunities to really bury them,” said Scott Thornton. “Everything was going our way and we took our foot of the gas and tried to shut them down rather than go at them. We’re still a confident team. Now we’re back home and we’ll get a better effort.”
It is safe to say that the Sharks could have already wrapped the series up, had they not given up leads in Edmonton. But that does not deject Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson or any of his staff. Wilson was expecting a tough series from the get go and feels the team needs to improve on a few things before tomorrow’s tilt.
“There are things we have to do to get better,” said Wilson. “When we have leads we haven’t had that killer instinct that you need to have in the playoffs. Edmonton is a never give up group and we can’t stay passive and back off our game.”
Toskala will be looking to bounce back from his tough outing in Game 4 in which he gave up five goals for only the third time in his NHL career. Expect to see the Finnish netminder bring his A game to the Shark Tank.
“He’ll be ready,” said Wilson of Toskala. “It bothers him to make a mistake like he did last night, but he’ll bounce back. He’s done it for three months now.”
For Toskala, last night is in the past and he’ll be looking to carry the Sharks into Edmonton with a 3-2 edge in the series come Wednesday.
“I’m not having problems stopping the puck,” said Toskala. “I’m seeing it well and I made some good saves last night. It was just that one play at the blueline that I was upset about. I’m looking forward to getting back in there.”
The Sharks will take on the Oilers at 7 p.m. Sunday at HP Pavilion. The game can be seen on FSN Bay Area and heard on the Sharks Radio Network or sjsharks.com.