Lately, NHL rivals are circling Sharks
The Sharks are back home this week, and even they aren't sure which team will arrive at HP Pavilion. The fact that Clowe was determined to be part of a legal line change, and not simply jumping off the bench to fight, limited his possible suspension. The power play, which was clicking during the hot start, is struggling. The truth is the Sharks, who were one of the best teams in hockey for most of the past five seasons, might have missed their window of opportunity. The Sharks lost in five games in the first round last year, yet chose to bring largely the same team back, with Thornton and Marleau as the centerpiece players. The Sharks have fallen to a ninth-place tie in the West, out of playoff position. If there's anyone feeling the pressure, it's McLellan. Since he became head coach in June 2008, McLellan has compiled an impressive record - but being an NHL coach means having little job security. When the Sharks added Larry Robinson - who coached the Devils to a Stanley Cup championship - to their staff, it was widely interpreted as a move to put pressure on McLellan and have a replacement in reserve, no matter how much general manager Doug Wilson denied it. McLellan knows he's on the hot seat. Since July of '08, McClellan said, that's what we do.