If the San Jose Sharks were worried about Game 2 of their Stanley Cup match up against the Anaheim Ducks, Head Coach Todd McLellan didn’t show any signs as he light-heartedly joked with the media during the morning skate scrum.
Former Duck Travis Moen also exuded calm and ease after the team’s morning skate, stating that the Sharks need to stay focus and compose even when for a team that has not scored a goal in the playoffs since Game 5 vs. Dallas last year—a span of over189 minutes.
“Just don’t get frustrated,” Moen said. “It’ll come but we just need to keep doing the right thing: driving the net, shooting pucks at the net and getting bodies in front.”
There wasn’t a sense of urgency from Moen or McLellan; as long as the San Jose continues to work hard and stick to the game plan, things will pan out the first-year head coach said.
“Obviously you have to score to win,” McLellan said. “Whether you score first, second, third or whatever you just got to score more than they do. It would go a long way for us to get out of the gate first but it’s not the end of the world if we don’t.”
San Jose had a chance to snap their scoreless drought Thursday but in addition to being stopped by Jonas Hiller, the post helped out the Duck netminder on two occasions.
“It’s the playoffs so it’s going to happen, hitting posts,” Setoguchi said. “You make shots and the goalie makes a save. Anaheim really came out the end of the year and played well and we knew that. It’s one of those things where the team that stays focus the longest and has the work ethics throughout the whole game is going to win the game. A couple of bounces here and there would help.”
Though Game 1 didn’t go as planned for San Jose there was one glaring stat the Sharks said was inexcusable and the team has been addressing at practice in the last couple of days: their power play.
“The Ducks have done their scouting reports and know what we do on the power play,” winger Devin Setoguchi said. “We expected that coming into the game and I don’t think our execution was there. When we got onto the power play we found ourselves chasing the puck down our end a lot.”
The Sharks were 0-for-6 on their power play Thursday night.
“Our power play wasn’t very good,” Setoguchi said. “Give Anaheim credit, their penalty kill adjusted and did a great job, but there’s no exception for us going 0-for-6 especially being second or third in the League on power plays during the year.
“Special teams are what win games in the playoffs and we just need to make sure we take care of it and we’ve been working on it the last couple of days in practice.”
The extra day off between games could work out in Team Teal’s favor said Setoguchi. San Jose had extra time to rest players and squeezed in an additional practice to attend to their vulnerability in Game 1.
“A couple of guys are getting back from injury so the extra days gave them a chance to get back to 100 percent,” said Setoguchi.
The Sharks have also been discussing how to get one past Hiller.
“In the playoffs, goalies are going to stop everything they see basically shots from the outside to the top of the circle,” Setoguchi said. “We know what we need to do, we need to go to the net, get guys in his sightline, frustrate him as much as we can and get traffic then pucks will start going in the net for us.”
As San Jose prepares for tonight’s game at HP Pavilion, they also look ahead to playing in Anaheim at the Honda Center Tuesday and are expecting a close battle against their intrastate rival the remainder of the series.
“I don’t think the disparity between (seed) one and eight really qualifies in this series,” McLellan said. “This is a team that’s basically two years removed from being Stanley Cup champs. They know how to do it. The game down the stretch could go either way in either team’s building. We expect more of that now until the end of the series.”
MITCHELL AND HUSKINS UPDATE
Head Coach Todd McLellan spoke with the media today regarding the injury updates of both Torrey Mitchell
and Kent Huskins, who has yet to make his Sharks debut.
Both players have been practicing with the team.
“We talked about him (Torrey Mitchell
) 24 hours ago. He’s 24 hours closer so there hasn’t been much change. I guess he’s 24 hours closer than he was yesterday if that makes any sense,” McLellan said with a laugh.
“It doesn’t take a scientist to figure out if Torrey Mitchell
was good enough to play; Torrey Mitchell
would be in the lineup. The way he skates and the energy he brings and contribute to our hockey club we would be using him. He’s not ready yet; it’s as simple as that,” the first-year head coach added.
Tomorrow he’ll be 48 hours closer?
“Exactly,” McLellan said laughingly.
“Kent is too (24 hours closer),” said the smirking McLellan. “He and Torrey are in the same program.”
The Sharks will play hosts to the Ducks in Game 2 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals on Sunday, April 19 at 7:00 pm. The game will be broadcast on CSN in HD, 98.5 KFOX FM and SJSHARKS.com.