SAN JOSE Sharks head coach Todd McLellan is still unable to coach tonight against Buffalo, but that doesnt mean hes not involved in the pregame preparation.
Assistant coach Jay Woodcroft said on Thursday morning that McLellan is giving his input as the team looks for its first back-to-back wins since Feb. 2, hosting the Sabres at HP Pavilion.
Todds very involved. Hes getting better each and every day. Hes feeling better. Both Matt Shaw and I consult him every day, Woodcroft said. Were in touch with him, hes coming in every day to the building, and he's been a big part of our game plan.
Woodcroft was pleased with the way the Sharks played in their 1-0 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday, perhaps using McLellans absence as a bit of a rallying cry.
RELATED: McLellan to miss second consecutive game
I think you saw our teams response in the last game. They knew we were missing our leader, Woodcroft said. But our leadership group, in terms of players, really stepped up. The bottom line is, were in a playoff hunt. Every two points is important. You saw that against Philadelphia, and were definitely going to bring the same attitude tonight.
Its a good point of reference for our team to rally around, for sure, but theres a look in our guys eyes right now that they know how important these two points are on a nightly basis. Regardless of who stands behind the bench, theyre committed to going and getting them.
The Sharks (33-22-7, 73 points) are two points behind the Pacific Division-leading Phoenix Coyotes, with one game in hand. Phoenix, 11-0-1 in the month of February, plays in Calgary tonight.