Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area reports San Jose head coach Todd McLellan will be behind the bench on Tuesday when the Sharks host the Oilers.
McLellan, who hasn’t coached since being struck with a stick and collapsing on Feb. 26 — he was later diagnosed with a concussion — said his health had improved and that he was excited to return.
“I feel much better after practice today than I did a couple days ago when I ran a practice, came off the ice, and didn’t feel good at all,” McLellan said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
The Sharks are probably looking forward to McLellan’s return as well. The team looked listless under assistant coaches Jay Woodcroft and Matt Shaw, going 1-2-0 while scoring just twice, moving them to 2-7-1 over their last 10. As a result, San Jose now finds itself in the unique position of fighting for its playoff life, sitting eighth in the Western Conference with 73 points. The Sharks haven’t been anything lower than the fifth playoff seed since the lockout and have won four straight Pacific Division titles.
McLellan hopes his return sparks the team, but doesn’t want it to be the lone catalyst.
I hope I’m not the boost. I hope the boost comes from within the locker room,” he said. “Watching the team play against St. Louis from a distance, it looked like we lacked a lot of energy and drive. That’s got to be back in the team’s toolbox, if you will, come this Edmonton game.
“I expect that everybody’s refreshed and ready to go. Whether I’m part of it or not, shouldn’t make a difference. They should have that and be prepared to apply it.”