TORONTO Ryane Clowe was in no mood to talk about his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, leading to a key Columbus goal on Tuesday night, immediately following the 6-3 Sharks loss to the Blue Jackets.
As one of the more emotional guys on the team, that came as no surprise, as the undisciplined infraction by Clowe halted San Joses momentum after it had scored two straight goals in the second period, after surrendering four unanswered markers in the first.
RECAP: Sharks hit low point with 6-3 loss to Columbus
On Wednesday in Toronto, though, Clowe opened up about the mistake in judgment that helped key San Joses fourth straight loss.
I consider myself to be a pretty disciplined player, but last night I took an unsportsmanlike minor, that was me. Ive got to keep my emotions in check," Clowe said. "I didnt think the call was a great call on the first minor, but the second minor was a selfish penalty on my part. You cant take those. When the game gets emotional, weve got to keep those emotions in check a little better.
Clowe also took an avoidable roughing minor late in the first period when trying to defend Logan Couture, who had just been run into the boards by Columbus Ryan Johansen. That led to a power play goal by Jeff Carter, and also irked head coach Todd McLellan after the game.
McLellan mentioned he would have a chat with Clowe before Wednesdays practice, but instead the coach held a half-hour meeting with his entire club before a 45-minute skate at the Maple Leafs practice facility in the early afternoon.
We talked about it as a group. Theres a Catch-22 situation with a guy like Clowie, McLellan said. Hes always done a very admirable job of taking care of his teammates, Logan in particular. If theres an excessive situation hes always prepared to step in. Sometimes he gets away and lets his emotions get in front of him, and that was probably one of those situations, but we sure dont want to take that element of his game away.
Clowe was asked how Wednesdays meeting deferred from typical off-day meetings, now that the Sharks are just 1-4-1 on their nine-game road trip and have lost seven of the last nine overall (2-6-1).
It was longer. Guys spoke a little bit, within the team and players. We went over some video, and Todd addressed some areas that need to be fixed.
Weve just got to realize were playing playoff hockey. Were first in our division, which is a good thing, but were only a few points in the playoffs. Weve got to put our foot down and get on a streak.