One day (well actually later in the same day) following the Sharks triple overtime loss in Edmonton, Team Teal had put the results of Game 3 of the 2006 Playoffs presented by Intersil behind them. Only the rostered players who didn’t play Wednesday night practiced. San Jose still leads the series 2-1.
“I told the guys who played I didn’t want to see them on the ice,” said Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson. “We just played the equivalent of four games in four nights.”
Wilson did not fret over the contest upon returning to his hotel by watching the DVD copy.
“I didn’t watch it at all,” said Wilson. “I sat and read a book. We would have liked to get the sweep and get it over, but now the idea is to get a split and find a way to get it at home.”
Asked whether the game was more physically or mentally draining, Wilson said it was a tie.
“It is a combination of the mental and physical,’ said Wilson.
The key factor is there were no lingering effects for the Sharks and they are ready for Game 4 on Friday on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.
“This is a pretty positive group,” said Wilson. “There is no way they can play better than last night and we can be better.”
San Jose can draw on their experience in the first Nashville contest. In Music City, the Sharks went down early, only to see a tied game go the other way late. San Jose then ran off four consecutive victories to close the series.
“It’s the same as Nashville,” said Wilson. “We came back there and lost the game late. It is a similar situation.”
WATCHING THE TONE OF THE GAME
Wilson is a little worried about the way the series has been going thus far. He has seen Milan Michalek knocked out of a game with a late hit and Jonathan Cheechoo planted face-first into the boards. At least on Cheechoo’s, Georges Laraque was given a major and a game misconduct penalty.
“They’ve taken a lot of head shots,” said Wilson. “Milan couldn’t play because of the hit and the guy who gave him the cheap shot scored a goal for them. (With Cheechoo,) the guy put his hand to the back of his head and he drive’s his face into the glass and draws blood (nine stitches).”
Wilson hopes to see the officiating he saw in the regular season.
“If we have to respond physically because the calls aren’t there, then it’s the old west mentality,” said Wilson. “You have to take care of business yourself. I hope it doesn’t come to that, but we’ll see what happens.”
“We’ll do what it takes to win games,” said Kyle McLaren.
“You don’t like to see guys go down, especially with hits to the head,” said Patrick Marleau
. “The best way to get back at them is to win.”
The Sharks know that playing their game will accomplish their goal and they can’t worry about what they can’t control.
“I can’t change my game or I won’t be as effective out there,” said Scott Hannan.
On the other end, Vesa Toskala has been bumped at a significant rate, but it has been Dwayne Roloson who has benefited from the whistles.
“I wish Vesa would speak up and be as animated as him,” said Wilson. “A shot knocks Roloson’s mask off and he says we knocked it off physically.”
Wilson may have a couple of lineup changes in store for Game 4 with Scott Parker one of the possibilities.
“There is a good chance he will dress tomorrow night,” said Wilson.
Wilson also hopes that Michalek can return as well.
“I hope so,” said Wilson.
Michalek skated and is hoping to play in Game 4.
“We’ll see tomorrow. It is pretty hard to watch,” said Michalek. “You want to help the guys.”
The Oilers joined the Sharks in resting their main combatants from Game 3.
“We have a room to hang out in, we’ll eat a good dinner and get plenty of sleep,” said Marleau.
Hannan, who led all Sharks skaters in ice time, was in good shape the following day.
“I feel good,” said Hannan who played in the longest game of his career.
Hannan was surprised when he learned he played in more than 60 shifts.
“I was probably just tired hopping over the boards,” said Hannan.
TOP LINE CLOSING IN
Cheechoo is still looking to crank up his goal scoring talents in Round 2, but Wilson is not worried about his top scoring line.
“They’re getting their chances,” said Wilson. “It’s like Teemu Selanne’s ketchup theory. If you keep banging at the bottle, it will open up.”
When Ryan Smyth was hit in the face by a clearing attempt from Chris Pronger, he had to leave to ice after losing two teeth. He heroically returned, just as most hockey players would.
“I don’t know one hockey player who would lose two teeth and not come back,” said Wilson. “I would have been shocked if he didn’t come back. Joe Thornton
, Cheechoo and Hannan had teeth knocked out this year and came back. At this point, most players would probably play with a broken ankle.”