SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Sharks winger Dany Heatley has two goals in his past 18 games, including the regular season. San Jose needs him to put the puck in the net in the West finals against the Blackhawks.
"That's why Dany's a part of our organization," said Sharks coach Todd McLellan on Monday. "That's what makes him a tremendous player, is the fact he had the ability to put the puck in the net. I'm going to answer the question with a collective reply. I think we all have to find a way to get one more past [Antti] Niemi and not leave it on Dany Heatley's shoulders.
"But he does have to find a way to put the puck in the net, especially on the power play. That's what he's here for. That's what we believe he can do. I believe he will get that done as the series goes on."
Pronger is a monsterChris Pronger is having another great postseason, this time with the Flyers. Sharks captain Rob Blake brought up his name while chatting hockey Monday after practice.
"Prongs, right? Wherever he goes, they win," Blake said. "Edmonton, Anaheim it's no coincidence. Not that anyone ever thought it was."
Pronger should have won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2006 on the Oilers team that fell just short in Game 7 against Carolina. He was by far the MVP of the playoffs that year.
Keeping up the paceThe big question entering the Western Conference finals was whether San Jose could keep up with lightning-fast Chicago. Game 1 showed the Sharks did an admirable job of that.
"I think we kept up with their pace fine. I think we were setting the pace at the beginning of the game," said Sharks blueliner Douglas Murray. "They're fast when we don't take care of the puck. We were the ones that made them faster in the second period; we didn't do what we did in the first. Once you get lazy or too cute with the puck in the neutral zone, they are too good at catching you from behind. Once they get a turnover, things happen fast. They're a great transition team; they're very similar to Detroit."