You have to give Sharks coach Todd McLellan a lot of credit.
The burn on the Sharks has always been that the team is great in the regular season but disappears in the playoffs.
So to start off this season, the Sharks have been decidedly flat.
And just like that, the burn is gone. No more discrepancy between regular season play and postseason play.
It would be easy to blame the loss on careless play, but McLellan is actually calling for his defense to get more involved in the offense.
It makes a lot of sense. The San Jose offense has always been about establishing position below the circles. But there’s not much you can do once the puck is down there with the forwards. So the defensemen can create chaos by shooting the puck into play.
McLellan seems out of patience with his team, though, suggesting to David Pollak a tough practice was on the horizon.
Minnesota coach Todd Richards, who once worked as an assistant for McLellan, put the Wild through a brutally punishing skate earlier this week, and so far, it seems to have snapped the Wild out of their San Jose-like lackadaisical play.
The Sharks have better hope McLellan doesn’t catch wind of how effective Richards’ “practice” was on the Wild.