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McLellan Wants Team To Compete Harder

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks
The Sharks talked about turning the page on their Game 1 victory within 10 minutes after the game’s conclusion and they plan to do the exact same thing following their Game 2 loss. That’s not to say they won’t study why the loss occurred, but won’t beat themselves up and instead will concentrate on finding a way to win Game 3 Tuesday in Los Angeles.

“You wanted the opportunity to go up 2-0, but we feel comfortable on the road and we’ll bounce back,” Ryane Clowe said.

The game of hockey usually doesn’t allow for four-game runs by either side and the Sharks were readied for an extended battle before Game 1.

“It is a series after all, I’ve never seen anybody win 16 in a row,” Dan Boyle noted.

“It’s seven games, we thought we were going seven,” Scott Nichol said of the outlook a team has to take. “That’s the beauty of the playoffs. You win, you leave it at the rink, you lose you leave it at the rink. The routine is the same, going over video, going over what their tendencies are. We’re a veteran group in here, we’re not going to hang our heads.”

The penalties and resulting power play goals dug San Jose a hole, but McLellan was equally upset with the battle level of his club.

“It was hard to find two or three guys that competed at the level they needed to. We need to be a lot better in a lot of different areas,” McLellan said. “I thought they were a more competitive team than we were. It has to start with the competiveness. When you’re along the boards, you have to compete as hard or harder than they do. When you get to the net you have to be very competitive in that area and we weren’t. We’ll challenge our group there and we’ll expect a lot more from every individual. I think we’re going to have to look at each other tomorrow and ask if we gave enough to go out there and win a game and I don’t think (we did).”

“You don’t have to be a really astute fan to see they were a lot hungrier than we were and a lot more competitive than we were.”

San Jose’s players were all behind the fact that a better effort would be required.

“We just weren’t good enough all game,” Captain Joe Thornton said. “We have to (improve). There’s nothing to cry about. We’ve got to win a game in L.A. and that’s out focus . . . being ready the next game.”

“Absolutely, it’s a missed opportunity,” Dan Boyle said. “We had one of their top centermen out (and we were) at home, it’s a missed opportunity, that’s for sure. We’ve got to be better all around. There’s a lot that went wrong out there, starting with the discipline.”

With the loss coming by such an eye-popping number, McLellan should have no problem getting anyone’s attention at Sunday’s practice.

“Sometimes when you’re as bad as we were tonight, the picture is a lot clearer than when you just lose in overtime,” McLellan said.

Still, history has shown the Sharks were a resilient bunch this year in bouncing back from difficult losses.

“We had one of these in Chicago, we had one in Anaheim not that long ago where we were outcompeted and outplayed,” McLellan said. “We gathered our composure a bit and regrouped. That is fully what I expect. It doesn’t guarantee us a win, but we’d better be more competitive so we have a chance.”

Home ice now resides with the Kings and it’s up to Team Teal to take it back.

“We have to go to their barn and steal one there and get it back,” Patrick Marleau said.

“Give them credit, they came in and played a well disciplined road game with a few of their players out,” Nichol said. “It’s our turn to go back to their rink.”

While the loss was pinned on the Kings power play goals, the Sharks players pointed out a few tallies of their own on the advantage would have helped.

“I think our power play can be better,” Marleau said. “We didn’t get too much time in their end. Our entries weren’t what they should be. There will be some things for us to work on.”

“I thought we started well tonight. We had the first seven or eight minutes of the game we wanted to play. We got on the power play and lost a little momentum there. We were very undisciplined as far as penalties go and we can’t do that. We have to understand where we are at this time of the year.”

“I thought they were a much more competitive team than we were. We can talk about systems and what we did well and didn’t do well on the power play, penalty kill, and faceoffs. It has to start with competiveness.”

“You have to give them some credit. They were very good at bringing the puck out of their zone.”

“They are one of the top defensive teams in the league for a reason. They have the ability to defend and you can’t fall behind because they just shut it down and their goaltender is obviously very good.”

“It was a very big win coming into this building in Game 2. We were a little short with key players out of the lineup. That requires a really competitive attitude by everyone that’s playing. Guys have to really dig in and play hard for each other and I think that’s the competitive spirit that our team has shown many, many times over the last few years.”

“They really care about each other. They play hard for each other. They dig in when they have to and to me that is what defines a gritty hockey club.

“The right guys stepped up and produced at the right time here tonight with Doughty and Johnson on the back end. Ryan Smyth played a real big game for us. So the key guys that you needed to step up, played as hard as they could.”

Game 3 will be in Los Angeles on Tuesday at 7:30 and will be available on CSN California, 98.5/102.1 FM and

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