Down 2-0 to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final, the San Jose Sharks return to home ice at SAP Center desperately needing a win in Game 3 on Saturday to get back in the series.
Through two road games in the final, the Sharks have struggled at the start of both games and dealing with the speed of the Penguins. Yet, in both losses the difference was one goal — one to Nick Bonino in the final three minutes of Game 1 and another in overtime to Conor Sheary in Game 2.
In the aftermath of Wednesday’s loss, Sharks coach Pete DeBoer warned to “hold off on the funeral.” Meanwhile, the Sharks — Logan Couture to be specific — accused Sidney Crosby of cheating on faceoffs.
In terms of adversity, the Sharks have been through plenty over the years, from playoff collapses to not making the playoffs altogether.
Now, the stage is set for hockey history in San Jose, as the Sharks prepare for their first-ever Stanley Cup Final game at home.
Perhaps that will serve as a boost for the Sharks.
“Well, it’s very meaningful to the people here,” DeBoer told reporters on Thursday.
“I think I saw the emotion after we won the Western Conference that night and the days following that before we left for Pittsburgh. It’s important to the people here. Obviously we’re not coming home under the best circumstances, but we also know we’re a tough out, we’re going to be a tough team to beat at home.”