SAN JOSE - Entering their game against Phoenix on Monday, the Sharks were on a roll.
The team won five of six games on a long and hectic road trip to close out October. Enjoying a six-game homestand the Sharks won three of the first four, and had dropped just one game in regulation in their previous 10 (8-1-1).
Thats when they failed to find the scoreboard against a Pacific Division rival in getting shut out for the second time this season, 3-0. The loss makes it a little easier to accept four days between games, if you're the head coach.
Had we played the way we were capable of playing the other night against a good team in Phoenix and come away with a win, I would have wanted to keep playing, said Todd McLellan on Monday. We had some points rolling and were doing our thing, but we didnt play very well, so I guess its a good time for some practice.
The team had a spirited skate on Monday, staying on the ice for about 75 minutes. Theyll have two more days of practice time on Tuesday and Wednesday before Thursdays game with Detroit. The Red Wings play tonight in St. Louis.
Good work day. We havent had a chance to have a lot of those because of back-to-back games and travel, said McLellan.
The head coach was also asked to reflect on Saturdays loss to the Coyotes. Upon further review, he sees the game as one in which he can dissect the video and use it for various teaching points.
In McLellans mind, the team didnt play all that poorly. The Sharks out-chanced the Coyotes, but they werent mentally sharp enough to bury their opportunities. On the other side, some bad errors led directly to Phoenix goals. A better forecheck and more wins in the offensive zone faceoff circle are among the aspects of the Sharks game that could have been better.
I think within a season, every team whether its the Vancouver Canucks last year when they only lost 19 games youre going to have five to seven games where you can just throw the video out. Its not going to work. Then, youll have 12 to 15 games where it just goes your way and works and you throw that one out, because you cant even teach it, said McLellan.
Its what you do with those other 50 games, and how you become a one-goal win team in those 50 games, and how you overcome them. I think the other day was one of those 50 games. It wasnt one of those disasters or getaway games, it was one of those 50 games and we didnt handle it well.