Rathje keeps faith in fans

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 4:44 PM ET


 The Sharks are a forgiving bunch.

 The San Jose fans may have booed their team off the ice after Game 2 but the players are willing to let bygones be bygones.

 "They booed us out of the barn the last time we were there," forward Todd Harvey laughed.

 "I don't know. There could be a few sore ankles. We'll see."

 Defenceman Mike Rathje, who scored his first goal of the post-season in yesterday's 4-2 win at the 'Dome, said he was stunned at the way the Shark Tank turned nasty after the Flames' 4-1 victory.

 "It's kind of shocking after what we've been through all year," Rathje said. "Then we had one so-so game and they turn on us. But we've got 26 guys who went through it all year and we're going to continue to do it.

 "And if they want to jump on the wagon, then so be it."

 Former Calgary Hitmen blueliner Brad Stuart, who drew the ire of Jarome Iginla late in yesterday's tilt, cut the Sharks faithful some slack.

 "They want to see a winner and I can understand that," Stuart said.

 "You go to a game and the team doesn't put forth its best effort, of course they're going to be a bit frustrated. But I'm sure they'll be back in full force (tonight)."

 The Sea of Red has stood behind the Flames through thick and thin.

 And the fans will be hoping the Flames will have a chance to wrap up the series in Game 6 Wednesday night.

 The Sharks are intent on snapping the inexplicable streak of home-ice disadvantage.

 "Who knows?" said d-man Scott Hannan. "Maybe we're a little more relaxed on the road and a bit tight at home. But we're looking to take advantage of our home games now.

 Vincent Damphousse, perhaps the best Sharks player over the two games played in Calgary, is looking forward to helping his team redeem itself at the Shark Tank.

 "It doesn't matter where you play at this time of the year," Damphousse said. "Guys will be giving it everything they've got.

 "We have to play within ourselves and not try to impress anybody.

 "Be patient and make the right decisions, we haven't done that at home against Calgary."


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