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McLellan punishes Sharks with tough practice

Dec 4, 2011, 7:23 PM EDT

Todd McLellan Getty Images

True to his word, San Jose coach Todd McLellan made his players pay for last night’s 5-3 home loss to the Florida Panthers.

“These days aren’t good for anyone,” McLellan said today after a strenuous practice that replaced an originally planned day off. “They’re not good for the players, because of the [hectic] schedule, and we get no satisfaction out of it. But, the goal was to remind them that the work ethic and commitment level has to come first. It comes before anything else – systems, talent, power play, penalty kill.

“We’re human, and we all have to be reminded sometimes. I have to be reminded, my kids have to be reminded, and our team has to be reminded how important work ethic and commitment level is. That’s all today was.”

After which McLellan went home and skated his kids.

The Sharks have lost three of their last four, the lone win coming Thursday over Montreal in a shootout.

San Jose’s next seven games are against Western Conference foes, starting Tuesday versus the streaking Wild, so you can’t blame the coach for taking action.

McLellan was furious after Saturday’s game at the HP Pavilion, a game that saw the Sharks outshot 35-26 by a Florida team playing the fourth game of a four-game road trip.

“We were very sloppy,” he said. “That’s probably as poorly I’ve seen our six D play in four years altogether as a group with turnovers. Forwards didn’t create much of a forecheck. It was a full team game. If we didn’t want to work tonight we’ll find some time tomorrow to do it.”

  1. sjsharksfan11 - Dec 4, 2011 at 9:03 PM

    Doubt anything wakes this team up. They’re a farce like every year. Bottom dwellers on the pk, soft defense, and overrated player personnel. Don’t be fooled by this bag skate because it’s a PR move. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

    • danphipps01 - Dec 4, 2011 at 10:09 PM

      Strange that they always finish so high, then. I’d love the Jets to be half the “farce” they are.

      • finfan88shark - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:40 AM

        So yo would want a team that beats the bottom feeders during the regular but chokes in the post-season every year?

  2. finfan88shark - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    Would someone in Sharks management please punish Todd McLellen for not being able to motivate the team. Continuing to play a 1990 PK defense, for continuing to allow star players such as Patrick Softee to skate hopelessly around shift after shift.

    When I heard bag skate I was hoping that would put a bag over McLellen’s head, so the team did not have to watch him adjust his tie during games, instead of adjusting his strategy.

    What really needs to happen for this team is a change at both GM and the coaching position.

    We know that Doug Wilson misjudges players during free agency, and we know his drafting is horrible, but what really hurts this team most is the coach. A coach who’s offensive strategy is too tell players to shoot the puck from anywhere on the ice and hope like hell it goes in. A coach who has no clue what defense or playing a tough grinding game is all about. What the Sharks have is big, slow, finesse team playing in a physical grind it out conference. They have a coach with no ability to adjust the teams game. After 3 years it’s still the exact same system as before, no adjusts, constant line changes and consistently allowing players to dog it on the ice.

    • jrod691 - Dec 5, 2011 at 2:44 AM

      Wow, I always thought I was the only Sharks fan that noticed this.

      The offensive strategy of: You shoot enough, you’ll get lucky, simply does not work against the good teams.

      I agree 100% that there has been almost zero strategy adjustments by McClellan over his tenure. Every team in the league knows the sharks plan: cycle the puck in the corners, then pass it out to the D and hope to get a lucky rebound after the slap shot. On defense: don’t pressure the other team until they get to the faceoff dot in your zone then pass it straight up the boards on the breakout. Both are strategies that will never win the Sharks the cup… Unless they get lucky enough times.

    • pliableone - Dec 6, 2011 at 6:45 PM

      lol the ignorance and uneducated hockey talk on this blog made me create a username just for a couple posts and then to delete it. Your an idiot finfan, end of story. Cant even post my points because your too stupid to understand so it would be pointless.

  3. SharkCircle - Dec 5, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    I know it seems like Mclellan can’t motivate the Sharks sometimes, and that it’s something wrong with him and this team specifically, but that’s not the case. it’s a long season, and when you start watching other teams as regularly as you watch the Sharks, you start noticing the same things with them. With every team. “60 minute effort hasn’t been there, got to get some consistency, work ethic.”

    These are common themes for every team. Its just very difficult to be at your best every night no matter who you are.

    Tough loss vs the Cats but they played a good team. Sharks have to rebound vs Heatley, Seto, and the Wild.

  4. SharkCircle - Dec 5, 2011 at 7:30 PM


    Well, they almost did, last year. How many overtime wins before they lost in the playoffs, many deflecting off the other team’s ticks or off a bounce right to their open player? You may be right though in that thats about as far as they can get, and eventually the bounces will go against you.

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