Todd McLellan was hoping the schedule would be kinder to the San Jose Sharks, that it would allow them to be home this week to enjoy the buildup and be a part of the hype leading into their 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game against the Los Angeles Kings at Levi's Field on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA2).
By the time the Sharks return home, the rink at Levi's Field will be finished and ready for them to skate on Friday. The media will already be in town. The hype machine will already be blasting, even without the home team in the same time zone.
So instead of having the benefit of being at home to promote arguably the biggest hockey event to ever come to Northern California, McLellan is finding the positives in being on the road this week.
"I think it would be to our benefit to be at home as far as promoting it and getting our players out and taking in the whole week of excitement, but we don't have that luxury so maybe we have to look at it from another perspective," McLellan told NHL.com. "That's being on the road, you won't have the distraction. You're just on the road playing hockey. That can be the positive."
The question for McLellan now is, in what shape will the Sharks return for the big game?
The Sharks are coming off a 5-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday when they were plagued by many of the same warts and inconsistencies that have been plaguing them all season. They flew to Nashville on Monday in second place in the Pacific Division; they woke up Tuesday in fourth place.
"We're all over the map too much," McLellan said.
McLellan spoke to NHL.com about how the Sharks are preparing for the Stadium Series game and what some of his concerns are in the following Q&A.