Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Sharks Seeking Historic Comeback Bid as Cup Final Shifts Back to San Jose

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Sharks Seeking Historic Comeback Bid as Cup Final Shifts Back to San Jose

Article excerpt

Sharks seeking historic comeback bid


SAN JOSE, Calif. - Pete DeBoer heard all the doubts about the San Jose Sharks before he became the team's head coach last summer.

"'They can't get it done. There's not enough character. There's not enough leadership,'" DeBoer said, listing various criticisms of the club following practice on Saturday. "That's what people think and it's so far off-base. There's just no substance to that at all."

DeBoer believes any doubts about the Sharks character have been put to rest this spring, though his team will need a historic comeback and every bit of resiliency and perseverance to rally for the Stanley Cup.

San Jose hosts Game 6 at SAP Center on Sunday night with the Pittsburgh Penguins leading the series 3-2.

The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs are the only team in NHL history to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the Stanley Cup final. Only three teams have ever come back to win the Cup after dropping the first two games on the road, with two such instances occurring in the last seven years, including the 2009 Penguins.

"Other than possibly playing a Game 7, (Sunday) is going to be probably the most exciting game I've played all year," said Sharks defenceman Marc-Edouard Vlasic. "An opportunity to win Game 6 at home in the Stanley Cup finals, we're looking forward to it."

The Sharks are coming off a nervous 4-2 win over Pittsburgh in Game 5, one that saw them badly outplayed for long stretches, victory preserved only by a solid performance by Martin Jones, who made 44 saves.

If any team understands how quickly a series can turn, it's the Sharks, who had a 3-0 series unravel against the Los Angeles Kings in 2014.

Paul Martin was a Penguin in 2014 when their 3-1 series lead against the New York Rangers slipped away in a seven-game second round defeat. Now on the San Jose side, Martin said every player handles momentum swings differently, whether in a game or a series. Some players are bothered by the pressure, others handle it well, he said.

"I think the team that won (the last game) has to take some kind of positive feeling from that win and try to build off that," Martin said. …

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