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McLellan Says Work To Be Done

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks
San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan, center, instructs his team as they play the Vancouver Canucks during a preseason NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008. The Canucks won 3-2. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan displayed his direct approach following the Sharks 3-2 loss to Vancouver in preseason game number three.  Team Teal wasn't quite up to snuff in the first two periods, falling behind 3-0 and taking way too many penalties.  They rallied in the third with an impressive final stanza, but it was too little too late.

"The team wasn't prepared and it's squarely on my shoulders and on the leadership's shoulders," said McLellan.  "We had a little discussion between the second and the third.  We had to manufacture a moment to get them going and that was unacceptable."

"We started slow and took too many penalties," said Joe Thornton.  "We got our flow back in the third and had a lot of chances."

What exactly was said while the Zamboni was on the ice?

"I spoke to the plan and asked a couple of questions and moved on," said McLellan. 

It was a rough evening for the Sharks on a night where many rookies and veterans were getting acquainted with a new system against a real opponent.

"It's getting better," said Rob Blake.  "There is much room for improvement."

"We have some new things to implement," said Marleau.  "We can't look for the perfect play.  We've got to put the plan into action.  A lot of good came out of what we tried to do in the third when we did it right.  It's a pretty exciting element when we do it right."

McLellan did acknowledge that the evening was not exactly played in the same light as a regular season game.

"A couple of things happened," said McLellan.  "Joe and Patty come into the game and Ryane Clowe is out right away so they lose their linemate. Couture gets hurt so we're caught scrambling.  We're still looking at some youngsters' play and it's not often in the regular season where you'll see everyone in double digit minutes."

For a second consecutive night, the Sharks were clear winners in a bout.  Friday night, Jody Shelley bloodied George Parros and Saturday Brad Staubitz did the same to Vancouver's Rick Rypien.

"It's exciting," said Staubitz of the energy of the building after the fight.  "I want to play tough and physical."

"It's nice to see people sticking up for their teammates," said Blake.

The head coach appreciated the efforts of both Staubitz and Ryane Clowe.

"I think it's a necessity and you have to have emotion in the game," said McLellan.  "For 40 minutes the team in white had more emotion."

With Brian Boucher playing Saturday night, it marked the third straight game that McLellan had played a different netminder.  Vancouver played Roberto Luongo for two periods then inserted Cory Schneider.  McLellan has played his starter for the full 60 minutes in all three contests.

Boucher had virtually no chance on any of the Vancouver goals with the first coming on the power play and the other two coming off rebounds where he made the initial stop.

"I thought he played good," said Thornton.  "A couple of lucky goals went in."

As if there was a doubt, McLellan confirmed to the interested media at the morning skate that Marleau was indeed the captain for the season.

McLellan hadn't used the tact in training camp, but in the third period, he moved Marleau to the point on the power play.

"What we had going earlier was not working," said McLellan.  "He had fresh legs."

The move immediately paid dividends as a Marleau point shot was tipped and out front for a goal.

A new set of Sharks was making their preseason debut at HP Pavilion, including long time nemesis Rob Blake.

"My son was here tonight and he's been telling me since I signed that I get to skate out of the Shark head," said Blake.  "I was a little nervous at first.  It's been 18 years and I still get a little jittery."

Blake tied Clowe with a team-high five shots.

"Not as much on net as I wanted, but it's nice playing with Joe on the half-wall," said Blake.  "Clowe and Grier were a presence on net."

Former Shark Steve Bernier, who was sent to Buffalo in the Brian Campbell trade last spring, is now with Vancouver.  He was not in the lineup however at HP Pavilion.

It appeared as if McLellan would give his club some time off on Sunday.

"In the situation, the young kids have given us everything they have," said McLellan.  "They're spent (with the rookie tournament in Las Vegas).  We have to get them a little refreshed."




"There's one way to lose momentum in a game and that's to take penalties.  We took far too many and they decided to play their big boys quite a bit and they came at us pretty hard, but again young Schneider had a very solid third and permitted us to win another game."

[Regarding Blocked Shots] "My guys had the courage to get in front of those shots and paid the price to get it done.  Our guys were really committed to doing that and that helped us."


The Sharks visit Phoenix on Monday night with a 7 p.m. start time.

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