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McLellan Readies Sharks

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks
Will one be able to notice the differences in the Sharks play from the regular season to the postseason?

There’s no doubt Head Coach Todd McLellan has some ideas in mind, but don’t waste your time looking for any differences. Besides, any changes McLellan and his staff made to the Sharks came when training camp started last September.

“Our differences already occurred,” McLellan said. “We’re doing things differently and playing a little differently. The grittier parts of the game, the board battles, those were all addressed.”

Last year’s Sharks emphasized lots of speed, putting lots of pucks on net and playing solid in both ends. Sure, that’s still part of their game, but they’ve added a physical aspect to their game. Some may call it “ugly,” but when a team wins 50 games, it’s a thing of beauty.

“We played an uglier game rather than the pretty game,” said McLellan of the regular season. “We didn’t outshoot a lot of teams 40-20 and were often outshot.”

The players feel McLellan’s style of play will serve them well in the postseason.

“This time of year, it comes down to grit and determination around the net,” Patrick Marleau said.

McLellan has worked with most of the players for the past two years and he knows how to handle his players in all situations.

“We’ll have a history with the team to draw upon. I know we didn’t give the players as much space down the stretch,” said McLellan of the push to close the regular season.

McLellan’s efforts played a big role in San Jose’s 8-1-1 record to finish the regular season.

“Todd has done a wonderful job of setting a standard of accountability and getting the group to play together,” Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson said.

Sharks fans may have trouble recognizing some of their favorite players over the next few months. Most of them have started their playoff beards, a “tradition” that reportedly started with the New York Islanders Stanley Cup Champions of the early 1980s.

Torrey Mitchell has already started growing his beard. Others will begin tomorrow.

“Oh yeah, you’ve got to go with it,” said Ryane Clowe.

Scott Nichol, a veteran of three playoff runs with Nashville, has an important rule regarding growing facial hair. Nichol said the growth has to be “old school. No goatees or mustaches.”

Will Patrick Marleau sport facial hair? “I don’t know yet, we’ll keep them guessing,” he said. “We’ll see how much gray I’ve got.”

Joe Thornton, who’s been known to grow a serious beard in the regular and postseason, knows who’s got the best playoff beard: Niclas Wallin, who showed his during two Stanley Cup Finals runs with Carolina. “I’ve seen him in the past and he’s got a pretty grizzled one.”

Henrik Karlsson took part in his first practice as the Sharks extra goaltender during the playoffs. Karlsson arrived from Europe yesterday and this morning’s practice marked his first time on North American-sized ice.

“It was a good workout,” said Karlsson, whose season ended almost two weeks ago. “I just wanted to learn as much as I can. I’m happy to be here.”

Karlsson acknowledged the difference between the rinks in Europe and North America.

“There are many more pucks coming to the net from every angle,” he said.

A limited amount of tickets for Game 1 will be released Wednesday, April 14 at 1 p.m. and can be purchased at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and all ticketmaster channels.

Similarly, the Sharks plan to release a limit supply of tickets the day of a game at 1 p.m. for every home game.

For more information, be sure to check back to

Always wondered about Dan Boyle’s favorite restaurant? Joe Pavelski’s favorite DVD or what kind of music Patrick Marleau listens to? join the Sharks Wives and Girlfriends for the Sharks “Favorite Things” Basket Fundraiser during the first round of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Baskets featuring some of your Sharks favorite items will be auctioned off at the Sharks Foundation booth (outside of Section 124) on the concourse via a blind bid format during the opening round. For more information, visit

The long-awaited Playoff Mystery Puck Fundraiser will take place during the first two games of the Western Conference Quarterfinal series on Wednesday and Friday. For just $20. you’ll get a wrapped puck, guaranteed to be autographed by a member of the 2009-10 Sharks. Fans that find a “WINNER” tag on the bottom of their puck will receive an additional prize. Pucks will only be sold at the North and South Entrances. Fans must pay BEFORE making their puck selection(s) and can use cash or check. Visit for more information.

San Jose will play hosts to Colorado Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. The game will be on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and

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