As we discussed before, the San Jose Sharks aren’t going into an important Game 3 match against the Vancouver Canucks in panic mode. They know that it’s a big game, obviously, but both teams know from experience that the tone of a series can change even when a team falls behind 3-0. (Not that the Sharks would enjoy being in that scenario themselves, mind you.)
Vancouver @ San Jose (Versus) – 9 p.m. ET; Canucks lead series 2-0
If the Sharks want to get back into this series, they’ll need to keep a lid on their resident knucklehead Ben Eager. It’s not often that a low-level fighter such as Eager draws a lot of attention, but his mistakes made a tough third period that much worse for San Jose in Game 2.
The Sharks have downplayed their overall struggles in third periods, but there’s little doubt that the team would gain some confidence from finishing a game strong. Wednesday’s third period featured some awful lows, but up until that point, San Jose had been giving Vancouver a solid fight.
The question is: will San Jose be able to utilize their home ice advantage and final change to generate better results this time around? Even if they don’t outright shoot themselves in the foot like they did on Wednesday, they still must find an answer for the Sedin twins and that Canucks power play. So far, their efforts haven’t been very successful.
Meanwhile, the Canucks must hope that they can simply maintain the status quo. It’s too early to ponder the kind of impact a Stanley Cup win would have on the city of Vancouver, but it’s still pretty fun to think about. They’ll need to earn six more wins without struggling veteran Mikael Samuelsson, who is out indefinitely after hernia surgery.
A game like this could decide if this series will be long or if the Canucks will get a brief mini-vacation, although both teams obviously know the pitfalls of assuming a series is over at 3-0. (Even if they didn’t look past their opponents.)
Here are a few other scattered bits that might be of interest.
- Hockey Central previews Game 3 in this video.
- Observe this clip of the Sedin twins at work.
- Here’s the recap of Vancouver embarrassing San Jose in Game 2.
- If you want even more content, this Game 2 primer has even more good stuff about both teams.