McLellan's message to Mitchell

McLellan's message to Mitchell
January 6, 2012, 5:38 pm
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SAN JOSE Tommy Wingels return to the San Jose lineup meant that at least one Sharks forward that played on Wednesday in Anaheim had to sit. That forward was Torrey Mitchell.

Todd McLellan was unhappy with some of his players following the 3-1 win against the Ducks, and although he didnt mention anyone by name, it was reflected in the ice time. Mitchell played just 7:04, a season low (not counting Oct. 21 in New Jersey, when he got hurt).

After Thursdays 2-1 win over Columbus, his teams third in a row, McLellan was asked about his decision to sit the struggling Mitchell, who has just three goals and four assists for seven points in 34 games.

We decided to go with a different lineup, and put some fresh legs in. Hes an important part of our hockey club and does a lot of things well when hes really going good, McLellan said. He didnt have a very solid game in Anaheim, but we know hell recover and be an important piece.

Wingels, on the other hand, played for the first time Oct. 17. He saw 10:35 of ice time while playing on a line with Michal Handzus and Andrew Murray.

Andrew Desjardins, Brad Winchester and Jimie McGinn, whom McLellan matched up during the 3-1 win against the Ducks, remained together. No Sharks forward was under the nine-minute mark in terms of ice time against Columbus, as McLellan tried to roll four lines to reduce the chance of tired legs. It was the Sharks third game in four nights.

Knowing where we were fatigue-wise, and what weve been through in this past week, everybody played basically to about the 10-minute mark. We got a good 10, 11 minutes out of our fourth line players, for the most part. They did a good job again tonight.