After relinquishing home ice advantage for the second consecutive postseason, the Vancouver Canucks know improvement is necessary.
And captain Henrik Sedin knows exactly how much.
“We weren’t that far off,” Sedin said following a 3-1 loss to San Jose in Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals. “But everything has to be five times better.”
Vancouver came into Wednesday night’s action as the West’s No. 3 seed after capturing the Northwest Division title.
That gave them home ice over the sixth-seeded Sharks…who proceeded to erase said advantage in 60 minutes.
Sound familiar? It should.
Last postseason, the Canucks did the exact same thing, dropping a 4-2 decision in Game 1 at home to Los Angeles.
Things didn’t get any better for Vancouver in Game 2 — the Kings took that one by the same 4-2 scoreline — and it wasn’t long before Vancouver was bounced from the playoffs entirely.
As such, the Canucks know how vital it is to improve for Friday’s rematch at Rogers Arena.
They simply can’t afford to head to San Jose down 0-2 in the series — the Sharks were 17-2-5 at HP Pavilion this season, the third-best home record in the NHL.
San Jose also showed a strong level of confidence on Wednesday, rallying from a one-goal deficit to win in Vancouver for the second time this season.
Ryan Kesler was dejected with the way things transpired, especially after Kevin Bieksa gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead with under eight minutes to go in the second period.
“It’s disappointing going into the third period in your own building being tied and losing the game like that,” he said.