Sharks ready for Red Wings

When the San Jose Sharks hired former Detroit assistant Todd McLellan as their head coach two years ago, they were looking to duplicate some of the post-season success the Red Wings had enjoyed.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — When the San Jose Sharks hired former Detroit assistant Todd McLellan as their head coach two years ago, they were looking to duplicate some of the post-season success the Red Wings had enjoyed.

Now they get to find out if the imitation is as good as the original when the two teams meet in a Western Conference second-round series beginning tonight in San Jose.

McLellan brought over many of the philosophies he learned in Detroit under coach Mike Babcock, most notably a strong emphasis on puck possession.

“It’s a copycat league,” Sharks defenceman Douglas Murray said. “It always has been and probably always will be. When you have successful franchises like Detroit, teams are going to copy it. If it’s successful why not try to use it?”

The one thing the Sharks haven’t been able to emulate is Detroit’s post-season success. The Sharks have not made it past the second round in their past four trips to the post-season, including a second-round loss to the Red Wings in 2007.

A playoff rematch has seemed inevitable because of how much talent both teams have. But early exits the past two seasons by San Jose have delayed that.

“They play a similar style to us,” Detroit forward Henrik Zetterberg said. “We’ve been facing them a lot the last few years in the playoffs. It’s usually a really good series. It’s well-played hockey and it’s exciting for the fans.”

Despite being the two best teams in the NHL since the start of the 2005-06 season, the 2007 series is the only post-season meeting in that span.

The Red Wings were knocked out in the first round by Edmonton in 2006, the Sharks fell in the second round to Dallas in 2008 with the Red Wings waiting in the Western Conference finals and San Jose lost in the first round last season despite having the best record in the NHL.

Now they meet again in a rematch of the 2007 series that still leaves a bitter taste for many San Jose followers. The Sharks had a 2-1 series lead and a one-goal lead in the final minute at home in Game 4.

But with Dominik Hasek pulled for an extra skater and Patrick Marleau looking for an empty-net goal, Robert Lang scored the equalizer with 33.1 seconds left in regulation. Mathieu Schneider scored in overtime to tie the series and the Red Wings won the final two games 4-1 and 2-0 to advance to the Western Conference finals.

That’s just one of many playoff disappointments in recent years for the Sharks.

“That is our reputation right now,” Sharks forward Joe Pavelski said. “You got to work extremely hard to change your reputation once something happens. A lot of us in that room have only been to the second round. I mean, a few guys won Cups. We know that experience. But it’s something, you always got to reprove yourself every year.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Rebels forward Ethan Rowland battles with Medicine Hat Tigers forward Brett Kemp during WHL action at the Centrium Saturday night. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers claw back, hand Rebels 11th straight loss

Tigers 5 Rebels 2 The same old issues continue to plague the… Continue reading

There were six additional deaths across Alberta reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,926 since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
AstraZeneca vaccine is ready to be used at a homeless shelter in Romford, east London, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Frank Augstein
AstraZeneca-linked blood clot confirmed in Alberta

A case of an AstraZeneca-linked blood clot has been confirmed in Alberta,… Continue reading

The Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools Board of Trustees selected the name St. Lorenzo Ruiz Middle School to be built in the north end of Red Deer. (Photo Courtesy of  Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools)
Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raises about $8,720 for Terry Fox Foundation

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raised about $8,720 for the Terry Fox… Continue reading

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Alberta declines Ontario’s request to send health-care workers

Alberta is “not in a position” to send health-care workers out of… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools will not pilot the new draft curriculum at its elementary schools. (File photo contributed by Red Deer Public Schools)
UPDATED: Red Deer Public Schools says no to piloting new curriculum

Alberta Teachers’ Association support school boards

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Ontario Premier Doug Ford points on a COVID-19 caseload projection model graph during a press conference at Queen's Park, in Toronto, Friday, April 16, 2021. Ontario was set to backtrack on controversial new police powers to enforce stay-at-home orders implemented in the battle against COVID-19.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ford backtracks on new police COVID-19 powers amid intense backlash

TORONTO — Furious criticism of new anti-pandemic powers that allow police in… Continue reading

The official program for the National Commemorative Ceremony in honour of Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, sits on an empty pew prior to the ceremony at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa on Saturday, April 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prince Philip remembered as ‘a man of great service’ during Canada’s memorial service

Canada’s commemorative ceremony in honour of the late Prince Philip offered a… Continue reading

CF Montreal head coach Wilfried Nancy speaks to his players during the team's practice Tuesday, March 16, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
CF Montreal puts on a show, defeating Toronto FC 4-2 in MLS season opener

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — CF Montreal, carving open Toronto FC’s defence, cruised… Continue reading

Demonstrators using umbrellas as shields approach a point in a perimeter security fence during a protest over the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright during traffic stop, outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department, Friday, April 16, 2021, in Brooklyn Center, Minn. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Journalists allege police harassment at Minnesota protests

Some journalists covering protests over the police fatal shooting of Daunte Wright,… Continue reading

A container ship is docked in the Port of Montreal, Wednesday, February 17, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Montreal dockworkers begin weekend strikes as talks drag on

MONTREAL — Dockworkers at the Port of Montreal kicked off a series… Continue reading

Brad Dahr, 53, is facing numerous charges. (Photo contributed by Alberta RCMP)
Alberta man charged for alleged sexual offences against children

An Edmonton man has been charged for alleged sexual offences against children… Continue reading

A person walks past a COVID-19 mural designed by artist Emily May Rose on a rainy day during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, April 12, 2021. Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off the job or coming into work while knowingly sick could warrant discipline in the workplace. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Risky pandemic behaviour off the clock could mean workplace discipline: lawyers

CALGARY — Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off… Continue reading

Most Read