NHL Playoffs: 5 Things the San Jose Sharks Must Do to Sweep Series in Detroit
"Perhaps our most consistent [performance]," head coach Todd McLellan said after Game 2.
A regulation win was nice for the Sharks, a team that has had to play an extra 20 minutes four times this season.
Playing in Michigan will be tough.
The Joe is a large arena filled with fans who are loud and expect great hockey.
By doing the following five things, the Sharks can sweep the Wings.
Tom Schreier is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand or from official interview materials from the San Jose Sharks.
5. The Forwards Need to Get into the Crease
In Game 1, Jimmy Howard took a roughing penalty when he violently grabbed Joe Pavelski's head.
Pavelski got an offsetting minor, but it may have gotten into Howard's head. The entire crowd was screaming his name and, in the third period, Pavelski would net a goal in the blue paint.
"I didn't really think anyone was going off," said Pavelski. "It just happens."
Howard is going to be tough to beat, especially in Detroit, and the Sharks must be in his face all night.
4. Joe Pavelski Needs to Be Clutch
This is from last year, but I love the video.
Benn Ferriero would never have had his game-winning goal if Joe Pavelski didn't swat Thornton's attempt into the net in the third period.
When times get tough, the puck must be on Pavelski's tape.
Expect "Little Joe" to come up big again.
3. Scoring Needs to Continue to Come from the Blue Line
Ian White and Niclas Wallin scored in Game 2 to give the team a formidable lead.
White has had a scoring touch in the past, but Wallin is known more for his defense.
"He's defensive," says defenseman Jason Demers on Wallin. "But we've been practicing all year, and he's got a few tricks up his sleeve."
"It feels good to score goals," Wallin said. "It was a rocket."
Everyone is going to need to contribute in the playoffs, especially with the focus on Joe Pavelski, Patrick Marleau, Dany Heatley and Joe Thornton.
"Different guys seem to be stepping up every night," says Thornton. "It's playoff hockey, so you never know who's going to contribute."
2. The Sharks Must Continue to Score on the Power Play
The Sharks have had 14 chances on the power play and capitalized on two of them.
In Game 1, Joe Pavelski netted the tying goal in the third period off a rebound from Joe Thornton's shot.
In Game 2, Ian White came screaming toward the center of the net and ripped a shot past Howard to give the team an early lead.
Both goals were instrumental in the team's victories.
"I wouldn't say defining factor," forward Logan Couture said of special teams in the series. "I would say it would be big.
Both teams are good at five-on-five as well, but when you get a power play, you want to get momentum or score a goal."
San Jose must continue to produce on the man advantage if they want to win in Detroit.
1. The Sharks Need to Be the Most Physical Team
Both teams are willing to scrum in front of the net, bash bodies against the boards and attack through the slot.
The team that gets to loose pucks, finds the rebounds and plays more physically around the net will win the next two contests.
"That's how you score goals in the playoffs," says Wallin. "You shoot the puck and take a whack at it and get the rebound. That's usually how goals are scored."
"Kudos to our team for pushing back and giving a good performance," said Jason Demers after Game 2. "It's the playoffs. Everyone was hitting them, everyone was in on the physical side of it."
The same must happen in Games 3 and 4.