The San Jose Sharks aren't happy with the perception that they've been fortunate in these Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"It irks me when you use words like (lucky) because this team has played four or five elimination games," Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said Friday, according to ESPN's Greg Wyshynski. "Not moments - games. Twelve-to-15 periods of elimination hockey against Vegas, against Colorado in Game 7, so I think it's a ridiculous statement.
"You know what? We've found a way. And we've faced a lot of adversity. We've had calls go against us and we've had calls go for us, and we're still standing. For anybody to minimize that, I think is disrespectful to our group and what we've done."
The Sharks benefited from an egregious non-call in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night, when all four officials missed Timo Meier's hand pass prior to Erik Karlsson's overtime winner.
NHL executive vice president Colin Campbell later admitted the goal shouldn't have counted.
San Jose also benefited from a coach's challenge that negated a Colorado Avalanche goal in Game 7 of their second-round series, when Gabriel Landeskog was deemed offside while standing by the bench waiting to go off on a line change.
In the first round, the Sharks stormed back to defeat the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 7 thanks in large part to the controversial five-minute major assessed to Vegas forward Cody Eakin, a call for which Golden Knights general manager George McPhee said the league later apologized.
"I wouldn't say we're lucky," San Jose forward Gustav Nyquist said. "(Against Vegas) our first-unit power play executed that to perfection. They scored four goals in five minutes. In Game 3, (Logan Couture) comes up clutch and ties the game. We battle through. We know we're never out of a game until it's over."
Tomas Hertl agreed.
"I don't care what everybody's saying," the Sharks center said. "We deserve to win. I don't like 'lucky' overall. If you work for it, you deserve it."
Game 4 of the Western Conference Final goes Friday night in St. Louis.