Over the course of the Sharks recent red-hot start, they have been accomplishing one of Todd McLellan’s major goals: getting more shots on net. San Jose is literally firing on all cylinders.
And to keep McLellan happy, every member of the Sharks must be contributing. Even All-Star blueliners Rob Blake and Dan Boyle
have to focus on getting their shots through traffic and on the net.
“That’s one of the big parts of my game I try to work on,” said Boyle. “When you’re a passer and you have guys like Cheechoo that are cranked and ready to go, your instincts are you want to get them the puck. Once in a while it’s not a bad idea to shoot yourself.”
Boyle doesn’t put a magic number up for what he needs to register on the shot chart each night, but when the evening is over, he as a pretty good idea if he should have shot more.
“I don’t have a certain number,” said Boyle. “After a few games I’ll kind of take a peek to see what my shot count is and I’ll really know (if I’ve been shooting enough).”
Blake on the other hand, has a pretty clear goal in mind.
“I think about three to five,” said Blake. “I think you’ve got to try to get at least one a period. With the power plays and different things with the new rules, you should have at least one a period. That’s three and hopefully more.”
Ring wing Jonathan Cheechoo knows a thing about shooting as he is a former leading goal scorer in the NHL. If he is on during a season, the 300 shot plateau would not be a surprise.
“What I bring to the team is the shot, so I need to get shots,” said Cheechoo. “The more shots you get, the more chances you have of it going in the net. I figure if I get between three and five, I should have at least one goal.”
McLellan doesn’t have a desired shot per game ratio.
“No, I don’t like numbers because I think people play to numbers,” said McLellan. “Sometimes you undersell yourself a little bit. You have a target, you get there and then you relax; that’s not what we’re about.”
When it comes to location from the backend, sometimes the shooter clear intent is on hitting the netminder.
“I think the pads are probably the ideal spot because anything on top, he’s got a better chance of grabbing, so I think pads is probably your best target,” explained Boyle. “And the nets are best targets. The pads would be a second.”
Getting a shot through is not easy in today’s NHL. All players have to find new ways to hit the netminder or the back of the net with each level they go higher in hockey.
“It used to hurt a little bit to block a shot,” added McLellan. “Now you can stand and get hit just about anywhere and you come out of it fairly unscathed. So it’s real important that the defensemen change the angle of the shot so that it has a chance to get through.
“We call it passing it off the pads,” he added. “If you get a chance to put it off the goalie’s pads and it acts as a pass, it’s a great shot.”STALOCK HONORED
Goaltender Alex Stalock
, a Sharks 2005 fourth round pick who backstopped the visiting University of Minnesota Duluth men's hockey team to a 1-0-1 record against a pair of Central Collegiate Hockey Association foes last weekend, is the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week for Oct. 14-20.
A junior from South St. Paul, Minn., Stalock blanked host and No. 16 Northern Michigan, 5-0, last Saturday (Oct. 11) night in Marquette, Mich., by turning aside all 29 Wildcat shots on goal.
Last Friday (Oct. 10) evening, Stalock opened the season with a 24-save effort as the Bulldogs forged a 2-2 overtime tie against host Lake Superior State. UMD won the shootout, 1-0 (3 rounds).
In the two-game series, Stalock posted a 0.96 goals-against average, did not allow an even-strength goal, and recorded a .964 saves percentage in his two starts between the pipes. He also did not allow a goal in the final 108:50 of play and helped UMD's penalty-killers to 12 successful kills in 14 opponent power-play chances.
Stalock has now started in goal for UMD in 38 consecutive games - the second longest active streak in college hockey.
CLOWE ON RADIO
At 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Ryane Clowe
will be on NHL Live on satellite radio.
The Sharks will visit Anaheim on Friday night at 7 p.m. and the game will be on CSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.