Sharks need to have short memories for Game 5

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Sharks need to have short memories for Game 5

May 24, 2011

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Tim Panaccio
CSNCalifornia.com

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - It was May 24, 1994.

Seventeen years ago today marked the last time the Canucks qualified for the Stanley Cup Final.

How terribly ironic to realize that it could happen again today if the Canucks eliminate the Sharks in the Western Conference finals.

Vancouver is up 3-1, and the Sharks self-destructed on special teams over the weekend.

In the playoffs, you have to have short memories, coach Todd McLellan said. You know, it's about getting through Game 5. That's all there is. Doesn't matter what happened through Games 1 and 4. It's about getting through Game 5 and finding a way to win.

RELATED: Thornton confirms he's ready for Game 5

Rogers Arena figures to be jacked up for this game, given the historical significance.

It might be a little more exciting tonight, offered Canucks captain Henik Sedin. This city hasnt been part of a Final many times and theyve been waiting a long time, and we have, too.

Sedin said he didnt lose any sleep on Monday thinking about the Canucks' 3-1 series lead.

None at all, he said. Its fun, its exciting, but Id rather be here than before that Game 7 against Chicago, thats for sure.

Sedin admitted hes had a few conversations with people in British Columbia to get a sense of the frustration among the fan base.

You talk to people outside hockey and fans and theyve been through it all and theyve been waiting, he said.

Sedin didnt follow the Canucks in 1994 when 24-year-old captain named Trevor Linden took Vancouver there to face Mark Messiers New York Rangers.

I was 14 then and they didnt show a lot of NHL hockey back in Sweden, Sedin said. Its more my talking with Trevor when he was here. Ive seen pictures from after Game 7 against the Rangers.

His first, real memories of a Stanley Cup, he said, came from the 1999 series between Buffalo and Dallas.

We were over there watching Game 6 before the draft which is what I remember most, he said.

He said it took him a while to comprehend just how difficult it is to get into the Final.

RATTO: Three keys for Sharks-Canucks Game 5

You have to win three rounds its extremely tough, he said. Weve had good teams before and were never really close. That shows how tough it really is. Thats why you cant look past being up 3-1. You have to treat it as a Game 7. You never really know what is going to happen.

But its easier said than done to avoid thinking about being just one win away from the Stanley Cup Final.

That's normal to be thinking about the fact we're up 3-1, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. I think what we have to do is be in the moment, be focused on the process that needs to be applied on the ice with the right intensity and the right emotion.

That's where I believe our leadership group is going to come in and make sure everybody understands what needs to be done. If you focus on that, then usually the results just take care of themselves.

Tim Panaccio is the NHL Insider for CSNPhilly.com. E-mail him at tpanotch@comcast.net

Giants hammer three homers in third straight spring training win

Giants hammer three homers in third straight spring training win

BOX SCORE

At Goodyear, Arizona, Joe Panik, Conor Gillaspie and Jarrett Parker homered for San Francisco. Jimmy Rollins singled and scored twice.

Giants lefty Matt Moore went 1 1/3 innings in his first start of the spring, allowing one run and one hit. He walked two and struck out three.

Cincinnati starter Tim Adleman pitched two innings, giving up four hits and two runs.

A's spring training Day 13: Gossett part of fifth starter mix

A's spring training Day 13: Gossett part of fifth starter mix

MESA, Ariz. — An unexpected opportunity came Daniel Gossett’s way Sunday, and the young right-hander took it in stride.

When the A’s adjusted their starting rotation, Kendall Graveman got bumped to Monday and Gossett learned he’d be taking the ball to start Sunday’s Cactus League home opener against the Los Angeles Angels.

“I’m here for what they need me for,” Gossett said. “So anything they need, gimme the ball.”

He spun two scoreless innings in a game Oakland lost 5-3 at Hohokam Stadium. A nice first impression for Gossett, indeed, but the truth is A’s officials were already quite familiar with him.

A second-round pick out of Clemson in 2014, Gossett impressed at three levels of the farm system in 2016, beginning the year with Single-A Stockton and finishing it with Triple-A Nashville.

This is his first big league camp, and manager Bob Melvin even mentioned Gossett as being part of the fifth starter conversation.

“He impressed everybody in the organization last year, so when talking about that fifth spot, who knows?” Melvin said before the game.

The only blemishes on Gossett’s day were the pair of walks he issued. After walking Jefrey Marte to lead off the second, he got a lift from his catcher, as Josh Phegley fired a strike to second to nail Marte trying to steal.

“A pitcher’s best friend, I guess,” Gossett said. He went 10-6 with a 2.69 ERA across 27 starts at all three levels of the minors last year, and his 151 strikeouts led the A’s farm system. Gossett’s fastball ranges anywhere from 90-95 on the gun. He throws a changeup that gets the most swings and misses, plus a slider and curve.

Grady Fuson, an A’s special assistant to the general manager, liked the adjustments he saw with Gossett over the course of last season.

“He’s a super kid, a grinder,” Fuson said over the winter. “He’s a guy that hadn’t struck many guys out and had been very hittable in the strike zone. (In 2016), he started executing to different parts of the zone that limits the hard contact.”

CAMP BATTLE: Alejandro De Aza sparked the A’s first rally in the third Sunday with a triple, then scored on Mark Canha’s double. With Jake Smolinski sidelined currently by a shoulder issue, it’s a good time for De Aza, a non-roster invitee to camp, to make his mark. The door could be open for him to make a push to make the roster as a fifth outfielder.

“He’s an interesting guy,” Melvin said of the nine-year veteran. “He knows how to play the game, he can play all three outfield spots. We’ve seen him before when he’s given us trouble, too, with the White Sox.”

Another contender for a reserve outfield spot is Jaycob Brugman, who has yet to crack the majors but is already on the 40-man roster. He singled home a run in the seventh. Like De Aza and Smolinski, Brugman can play center field, and it stands to reason the A’s will want to carry someone who can back up Rajai Davis at that position.

NOTEWORTHY: Phegley admitted to some butterflies before getting behind the plate for his first game since July, when a right knee injury wiped out the rest of his season.

But he looked good springing up to nail Marte on the second-inning steal attempt. The A’s are counting on Phegley returning to his role as the right-handed hitting platoon partner with Stephen Vogt behind the plate.

STOCK RISING: Melvin was impressed, and entertained, by the first look he got at reliever Simon Castro on Saturday against the Chicago Cubs. Castro retired Kris Bryant to strand a runner at third, the only hitter he faced. But it was what happened before the at-bat that caught Melvin’s attention.

“When he came to the mound he was pretty vocal,” Melvin noted. “He was fired up, telling the guys ‘Let’s go!’ I haven’t heard that too many times out of pitchers, let alone in spring training. So he impressed me with his eagerness to pitch.”

FAMILIAR FACES: Campy Campaneris and Blue Moon Odom each threw out ceremonial first pitches before Sunday’s exhibition home opener, which drew a smallish crowd of 4,072.