SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - The message to the San Jose Sharks from the coaching staff and management was the same at the start of training camp as it was when last season ended in a second straight Western Conference final loss.
If the Sharks are going to get over that hurdle and win their first Stanley Cup, they can't wait three months to get going.
A sluggish start last season left the Sharks in 12th place in the Western Conference in mid-January. A furious finish to the regular season earned San Jose a fourth straight Pacific Division title but might have drained the tank when it was needed most in the postseason.
Coach Todd McLellan and general manager Doug Wilson want to make sure that doesn't happen again.