SAN JOSE, Calif. -- And on the other side, the Sharks were concerned that they weren't all that concerned.
That was the theme of their morning skate Sunday, which wasn't really a morning skate. It was a team meeting of undisclosed nature. And that was appropriate for this Sharks team, which led the Red Wings, 3-1, at the time in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. The only urgent matter was the lack of urgency.
The Sharks give you the distinct sense they are not morning people. They have this habit of ... yawn . .. OK, now we'll let center Kyle Wellwood explain it:
"We seem to be able to get behind, find our game and beat teams in the third period and overtime," Wellwood said Sunday morning, hours before Game 5.
This is not a bad problem to have. It may not even be a problem at all. It may, in fact, be the reason the Sharks win the Stanley Cup.
"That's been the way our team's played at the end of the regular season as well," Wellwood said. "We've been one of the few teams that is capable of losing the first period and winning the game. It's generally not the best formula, but we've been able to make it work.
"We know in the locker room that if we put pressure on them, and we're in a rhythm, that we're the best team. That's something everybody strives for. We do real well, generally, in the second and third."
As Wellwood pointed out, the Sharks have generally not been bad in the first period. They just haven't been at their best.
Entering Sunday's game, the Sharks had gone to overtime in five of their 10 playoff games -- and won all five . One could argue that they have been fortunate to do so. But you also could say they are like legendary sprinter Carl Lewis, who routinely caught other sprinters in the last 10 meters of a race.
"I don't think it's for lack of being prepared," defenseman Dan Boyle said.
Boyle talked about needing "controlled emotion." This seems like the province of the team's all-time leading scorer, Patrick Marleau, whose emotions often seem too controlled for Sharks' fans' tastes. Marleau did not score in the first four games of the series, adding to his reputation of disappearing at times in big games. But it spoke well of the Sharks that they played so well without Marleau's production.
The Sharks' first-period struggles may have been a topic of discussion at their team meeting Sunday morning. Players gave various reasons for the meeting, but it was clear that everybody was expected to be there, even though they weren't expected to skate.
In the topic of the day, Marleau was on board with everybody else. Yes, of course he would like to build leads.
"It would be nice to be able to do that, and play a little different game, late in games," Marleau said. "Being up a couple of goals would be nice."
So what happened Sunday night? The Sharks led after the first period and after the second period and then built a two-goal lead early in the third period -- only to lose, 4-3. And Marleau didn't record a point again.