It's not like there was major concern over the Sharks not winning in their first three preseason games (if you count the first split squad game ending a half hour earlier than this win), but there is no question the club enjoyed getting a mark in the win column Saturday night at home against the Phoenix Coyotes. The Sharks trailed early 1-0, but prevailed thanks to three unanswered goals.
"It's always good to win," said Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan. "I was asked the other night if the win was important. When you put the equipment on, you play to win. It doesn't matter if it's exhibition or the playoffs. It is good to one under the belt. We'll feel a little better about ourselves."
"No matter what game it is, you want to win it," said Patrick Marleau
McLellan has been open that the roster would be reduced after the weekend games, but he acknowledged there were some interesting things to analyze before making any decisions.
"I think the younger players that are competing have been pretty competitive from day one," said McLellan. "I was a lot happier with some of our veteran players. The top end players played better tonight. The game was a much quicker game than the Anaheim series, there was more speed to it. It was a good game for us to play in."'
The roster decisions will be made in meeting happening later.
"We'll make a number of decisions tonight," said McLellan. "Some players will be leaving camp. My goal is to get to one team, one practice. Play the two games with Vancouver and make the final decisions before we leave (for Europe)."
The Friday night game with Anaheim was a penalty filled affair even if the fights were taken out of it. McLellan put the word to his club that unnecessary penalties would not be acceptable Saturday.
"It was part of the message," said McLellan. "We were much better tonight in that area."
"It takes a lot of energy to kills those and it take a lot of players out of the flow," said Marleau.
Dany Heatley scored for the second time in two games.
"Those types of players are going to score goals," said McLellan. "Dany Heatley really skated tonight. He got his feet moving. He looked fast, he looked strong. Kind of the Heater that we saw early to mid season last year before he got hurt. That was a real positive for me."
"It's always nice to score a couple," said Heatley.
With the split squad scenario going on, McLellan was following the other game when he could at the breaks.
"I understand we lost 2-1," said McLellan. "We'd come in and pull it up on the internet and take a look. I'm sure the team we sent to Phoenix competed.
game in for the third period and earned the victory.
"It was four shots or something, but I wanted to stay sharp," said Stalock. "It's tough to come into a game like that. We put two in early and that was fun."