Detroit Red Wings
Clear Bag Policy Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App
 

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Game 3 will test mental toughness

Monday, 04.30.2007 / 12:00 AM ET / News
Detroit Red Wings
X
Share with your Friends


Game 3 will test mental toughness
By The Associated Press

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Jonathan Cheechoo remembers how the San Jose Sharks' playoff run fell apart last spring, and he doesn't see it happening again - even after the Red Wings tied up their second-round series with an awfully familiar goal.

"Now it's a best-of-five," Babcock said. "We should loosen up, relax and get playing. I thought we showed some good leadership in our room and showed some good mental toughness to stick to it."
The Sharks won six of their first seven playoff games last spring, but collapsed in the second round after Edmonton won Game 3 on a triple-overtime score by Shawn Horcoff. San Jose's momentum was irrevocably halted, and the Oilers rolled to four straight wins.

On Saturday, the Sharks were 20 minutes shy of a dramatic two-game sweep to start the clubs' second-round playoff series - until the Red Wings awoke for Dan Cleary's early short-handed goal and Pavel Datsyuk's heartbreaking winner with 1:24 left in Detroit's 3-2 victory.

A familiar script? Not to Cheechoo, who believes the current Team Teal is smarter and more resilient than last season's squad. With veteran experience added to last year's memories, the Sharks believe they'll respond to their only major disappointment so far in the young playoffs when they hit the ice for Game 3 on Monday night.

"You're going to hit snags along the way," Cheechoo said after the Sharks' light practice at their training complex Sunday. "I've never seen anybody run all the way through the playoffs. We just want to keep working and taking advantage of what we can do."

Yet the top-seeded Wings must feel a whole lot better about their chances against the ballyhooed Sharks, who rolled over Nashville in the first round and outplayed Detroit for long stretches of the first two games.

"The experience factor was important," said Dan Cleary, who was called the Red Wings' best player in the playoffs by coach Mike Babcock. "The guys have good composure and we don't panic."

Detroit turned away two San Jose power plays in the third period of Game 2 before Datsyuk and his teammates took advantage of a series of minor Sharks miscues that left the Russian scorer alone in front for a backhand goal.

"Now it's a best-of-five," Babcock said. "We should loosen up, relax and get playing. I thought we showed some good leadership in our room and showed some good mental toughness to stick to it."

Now the Sharks' mental toughness will be tested in front of another frenzied sellout crowd at the Shark Tank - and San Jose has passed nearly every test in that area so far this season.

The Sharks have won nine of their last 11 home games, losing only two overtime decisions to Vancouver. They played two model home games against the Predators in the first round, constantly outworking Nashville in both contests for deceptively narrow victories.

That work ethic carried over to Detroit, but Sharks coach Ron Wilson bemoaned a handful of lapses that turned Game 2 in the Red Wings' favor. San Jose limited Detroit's offense to 22 shots Saturday - a total that wouldn't be out of place in a single period for the high-powered Wings.

"We got a split in Detroit, we totally limited their offense, and we were so close to scoring the third goal (in Game 2) it was unbelievable," Wilson said. "You're not going to keep them off the board long, and we know they'll be better. We have to be better."

Wilson will put rookie center Joe Pavelski back in his lineup for Game 3, probably in place of Mark Bell. He doesn't plan to change anything else about the Sharks' effort, hoping the same style and intensity will get an added boost from the home crowd.

Joe Thornton, who leads the club with nine points in an outstanding postseason so far, will remain in charge of the Sharks' slumping power play, which dropped to 3-for-37 in the playoffs after an 0-for-6 performance in Game 2. Wilson and Thornton are resisting the urge to panic so early in a long spring.

"I thought we did good getting a split, but we had a chance to do something that a lot of teams could never do in Detroit," said Cheechoo, finally got his first goal of the postseason in Game 2. "We have to concentrate for the full 60 minutes and do what makes us successful."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 53 31 16 6 143 118 68
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 TBL 52 29 19 4 138 123 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
8 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
9 NJD 54 26 21 7 120 122 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 52 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 53 9 27 3 36
T. Tatar 52 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 53 14 15 -2 29
P. Datsyuk 38 8 20 12 28
J. Abdelkader 53 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 39 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 49 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 20 10 4 .933 1.97
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89