Sharks Have To Do What They Do Best
McLellan Wants Players To Stay Within Themselves
When Saturday night’s game started off on the wrong foot, the Sharks players and coaches felt one of the biggest issues was everyone looking to fix things by themselves. San Jose is built on a strong team structure, but they acknowledged not sticking to that structure for 60 minutes. The best of intentions were there Saturday, so Sunday the players were reminded to simply do what made them the second best club in the Western Conference during the regular season, nothing more.
“I think it’s a snowballing effect,” Joe Pavelski stated. “We didn’t establish the momentum that our power play can create for us and then we come back and we have guys (try to) do it on their own. Not because they’re selfish or anything like that, but because we’re trying to make it better. We forgot just how much we need each other and how good we are together.
“You want to be the guy who turns things around, but you forget how much you rely on your teammates along the way,” Pavelski reiterated. “We didn’t play smart enough. We need to focus on our game a little better.”
The thoughts were conveyed by virtually everyone who spoke after completing off-ice workouts.
“I agree, personally I felt the same way. I’m not supposed to be skating around with the puck and (trying) to go on rushes,” Douglas Murray said. “That’s not how we’re successful. You’ve got to stay and play within the team system and you can’t get away from that.”
“Last night there was a lot of things we did wrong, a lot of individual plays when things weren’t going well,” Marc-Edouard Vlasic said. “When things aren’t going well you’ve got to stick to the team game. Guys care, everybody here cares and wants to win. When thing aren’t going well, everybody wants to score that goal or make that play. Everybody tried to do too much, but we’ve got to rely on our team game.”
Now it will be a matter of channeling that desire to the right port.
“It’s not that individuals are careless or reckless at this time of year, sometimes they care a little too much and they take it too far,” Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan said. “We had one player last night believe it or not that had over a two minute shift because he wanted to show his teammates he was determined. That’s not going to help us at all. We’ve addressed it.”
McLellan still felt there could have been more effort directed in the tougher areas of the rink.
“I didn’t think we were physically strong enough on loose pucks and that clarifies the compete (level),” McLellan said. “From the dots to the boards, an area where they believe they are very strong, and they are, they were better in those areas than we were.”
The Sharks have an extra day between games one and two and will use it to their advantage.
“You wish you could get right back out and make a wrong a right, but the extra day is needed at times and if we use it to our advantage and rest and recover, it does give us a chance to look at what we did, break it down and be that much better,” Pavelski said.
One consistent area of strength for San Jose this year was preventing shots from reaching Antti Niemi, but that was not the case Saturday and the players have made that a priority.
“If we were in the lane, we could have prevented both those (first two) goals,” Vlasic said.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
McLellan looked back at his time with Detroit for a reminder to not try and change too much or over think a situation with a talented club.
“I remembered a story from a former team I was with,” McLellan said. “There was a Hall of Famer named Gordie Howe and he walked in one day and all the coaches and everybody were talking about systems and what we were doing and not doing. He said ‘sometimes you just have to lineup and against the guy looking you in the eye and you have to beat him.’ Sometimes it’s as simple as that and we’ll ask our players to think about that and approach it that way.”
GAME 5 TIX
The San Jose Sharks announced today that tickets for Game 5 of the 2011 Western Conference Quarterfinals to be played at HP Pavilion at San Jose (Game “C”), will go on sale to the public on Tuesday, April 19 at 10 a.m. Due to the limited number of tickets available, individuals will be allowed to purchase up to four tickets.
Tickets are available at the HP PAVILION TICKET OFFICE, ALL TICKETMASTER TICKET CENTERS, CHARGE BY PHONE at 1-800-745-3000 and online at TICKETMASTER.COM.
The HP Pavilion Ticket Office will be utilizing the pre-numbered wristband system for all purchases. Wristbands will be handed out from 8-9 a.m. The drawing to determine the numbered wristband, which becomes “first” in line, will take place at 9:30 a.m.
The HP Pavilion Ticket Office’s pre-numbered wristband system is designed for determining a guest’s position in the ticket line. This system is implemented for all high-demand and advance ticket sales at HP Pavilion. The use of these wristbands provides an orderly and fair method to give all guests an equal opportunity to obtain seats.
Game 3 will be Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in L.A. and will be on CSN California, 98.5/102.1 FM and www.sjsharks.com.