was on the receiving end of a practical joke at Tuesday’s practice. A clothes hanger was placed on his attire and he practiced with it for quite a while before noticing it.
“I was out there for a while before I saw anything, maybe a good 10 minutes,” Mitchell said.
|San Jose Sharks center Torrey Mitchell (17) checks Los Angeles Kings defenseman Matt Greene (2) during the first period in Game 2 of a first-round NHL Stanley Cup playoffs hockey series in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, April 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma) |
“It’s wasn’t (me), but I have an idea,” Logan Couture
said of who could be responsible. “I have a couple of people who I think might know who it was. No. 19 (Joe Thornton
) came up and was the first one to tell me. Who knows? Maybe it was his roommate (Devin) Setoguchi.”
Mitchell rolled with the punches, pointing out the bit of looseness portrayed on the ice today was nothing new for the Sharks. In fact, he said it may have been a retaliatory act.
“I wish I could narrow it down to one guy, but I’ve done too much to too many guys on this team. There are maybe 10 guys I could narrow it down to,” Mitchell said. “I definitely had it coming. I’ve been watching my stall and my dry change area for the last couple of months because I’ve been doing some things. This was good.”
So what may have preceded this act?
“Guys have lost some socks, some brims on the hats have been cut off before, but I’m not saying I had anything to do with it,” Mitchell said with a smile. “It’s all in good fun. No one told me. Everyone kept coming up to me asking if I wanted to hang out with them later.”
It was noted that Mitchell was having a strong practice and that maybe he should stick with the look.
“He was flying with it,” Couture said. “Once he took it off, the stick handling went away. Maybe he should try it during games.”
|Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk (13), of Russia, loses his helmet as he battles against San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau (12) during the second period in Game 2 of an NHL Western Conference semifinal Stanley Cup playoff hockey series game in San Jose, Calif., Sunday, May 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) |
The Sharks saw a minor line alteration at practice with Patrick Marleau
and Couture flip-flopping roles. Is this a sign of upcoming events?
“We’ll see,” Head Coach Todd McLellan said. “I think Detroit will make some changes with their lines. They’ve got a couple of veteran players that have played in these situations before. They may be in the lineup. We’ve got to be prepared to react and be ready to go anyway. We’re not sure what we’re doing yet, so we’ll wait and see.”
Couture noted if the changes held, he recalled that he, Setoguchi and Thornton scored a couple of goals the last time they skated together at Joe Louis Arena.
One also wonders if Detroit Coach Mike Babcock will change things up to generate more offense. The Wings have just two goals in the first two games. Babcock told the media in today’s post-practice presser that he hasn’t decided on any line changes. But that doesn’t mean they won’t happen.
“They’re going to try and do different things,” Dan Boyle
said. “That (breaking up Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk) might be one of the things we see. We feel pretty confident with the six D we have back there, we don’t have to over think the matchups.”
FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD
Detroit, like all experienced playoff teams, has been down 2-0 in a series. Their plan of attack to overcome their deficit is very simple. The question is: can they execute it?
“We can do a better job of hanging on to the puck (and) spending more time in their zone,” Nicklas Lidstrom said. “By doing that, we’ve got to get some more shots and get some more scoring chances. We have to continue to play with confidence. You have to make plays when they are there and when they are not there you have to get the puck in deep and work. It’s going to take a lot of hard work.”
“I want our team to play hard, I want more out of our forwards,” Babcock said. “I want to spend more time in the offensive zone and sustain pressure. Back check harder and be harder on 50/50 pucks all over. That’s a challenge to all our forwards.
“They beat us four games to one last year and are up 2-0 this year and by my math that’s 6-1,” Babcock concluded. “The bottom line is we’ve got to win a game and we’ve got to win the next game. Let’s get prepared for the first shift tomorrow and get after it. There’s no question the body of work says they’ve been better than us. We’ve got to be better than them.”