“They beat us last year, ended our season. That in itself should have us a little fired up and wary. They beat us three of four times this year. So it’s up to us.” –Mike Babcock
That quote (and more) via Khan(!). Babbles is probably out for a little personal revenge of his own, having lost to his young padawan learner last year.
As for the rest of the team, I had hoped that Detroit was angry about the way last year went against San Jose – not just because they lost, but the way that it happened. Well, it’s confirmed…
“You can argue the calls, but the fact is, we have to be better in that area.” –Brad Stuart
I could have sworn that San Jose had 18 powerplays in those first two games, but Khan(!) notes that San Jose was 4-16 on the PP combined in Games One and Two. Regardless, Detroit getting more than 15 minor penalties in two games is ludicrous.
Danny Cleary took an even more politically correct point of view on last year’s series…
“It’s in the back of everybody’s mind. No one feels good about getting knocked out, no matter what round it is. They played better for sure, but there were a lot of one-goal games, a lot of missed opportunities. It’s a good opportunity for us to prove ourselves again. They’re a good team, it’s going to be a good series.” –Danny Cleary
Is it possible for a team to actually play better than their opponent and still lose? You bet your sweet bippy. If you consider the vast amounts of power plays that San Jose had last season, and the fact that they won those games by only one goal in most games…then yeah, Detroit was the better team – but didn’t come out on top.
Jimmy Howard agrees with Mike Babcock that the Sharks will see a motivated opponent this time around:
“They did end our season last year. I think it’s going to push us.” –Jimmah!
Hopefully, it pushes them hard. I want to crush this San Jose team and silence all these idiots who seem to think that Detroit is the team that has to prove itself to San Jose that squeaked by us in last year’s play-offs. And no, I have NO PROBLEM AT ALL saying that San Jose “squeaked by us” in a series that ended 4-1. It’s just the truth, people – no matter what Versus/NBC tells you.
You getting fired up yet? Can you tell that I am?