The San Jose Sharks original playoff foe enters the Tank tonight for Game One of the second round of the NHL Playoffs. The Detroit Red Wings may be a fifth seed in this postseason arriving in San Jose after going a full seven games in their opening round series against Phoenix, but they’re dangerous nonetheless.
"We've got to realize that the first round is over and the second round is going to be twice as hard here," says Sharks forward Joe Pavelski. Regarding Detroit he adds, "they're a great team and what we've done now, it can all change in a hurry if we don't come ready to play."
Back in 1994, San Jose made its first ever playoff appearance and shocked the top-seeded Red Wings. The very next year, Detroit got revenge with a four-game sweep in the second round. Over a decade passed before they met again in the postseason. It was 2007 when Detroit beat the Sharks in six games in the Western Conference Semifinals, the last playoff meeting between the two.
Oddsmakers in Vegas favor the Sharks in the series and getting some much needed time to rest didn't hurt either before tonight's Game One. "I think it was just right for us," says Sharks forward Dany Heatley, adding, "We had some guys who could've used a few days off and at the same time it wasn't too long of a layoff and we had a couple of good practices so we're ready to go.
The first two games, Thursday (6 p.m.) and Sunday (5 p.m.), are in San Jose, then the series heads to Hockeytown for Tuesday and Thursday games (both 4:30 p.m. PST) at Joe Louis Arena.