San Jose Sharks vs. Vancouver Canucks -- Game 4

Sharks aim to improve 5-on-5 scoring by nixing ‘cute, fancy’ plays


The San Jose Sharks finished 25th in the NHL in five-on-five scoring last season, a ranking they’re looking to improve on.


According to head coach Todd McLellan, it’s all about simplifying things on odd-man chances.

“The biggest thing for me is when you get your two-on-ones or three-on-twos, and those are pure scoring chances, we need to take advantage of them. We really do,” McLellan told CSN Bay Area. “We had a number of those throughout training camp and exhibition season where we didn’t take advantage of them.

“We got cute, we got fancy, and got nothing out of it.”

The issue of even-strength scoring reared its head during San Jose’s second-round loss to Los Angeles in last year’s playoffs. Of the Sharks’ 10 goals, four came on the power play — meaning they scored just six times at even strength. Over the course of a seven game series, scoring so few five-on-five goals simply isn’t enough.

“If we’re going to improve five-on-five scoring, those legitimate moments that arise, maybe only one or two times a night, we better be cashing in on them,” McLellan explained.

Video: Pekka Rinne’s zero-margin-of-error stick save

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Sometimes, the Nashville Predators were unlucky in November. Sometimes they were just bad.

Either way, they’re likely glad to step into December, and they’ve already gotten a big bounce. Watch how close this near-goal was into crossing the red line before Pekka Rinne barely stopped it with a well-placed goalie stick.

You can also see it up close via this GIF:

Here’s the NHL Situation Room Blog explanation for it remaining a no-goal:

At 13:06 of the first period in the Coyotes/Predators game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play from 11:57. Video review confirmed the call on the ice that the puck did not cross the Nashville goal line. No goal Coyotes.

Alexei Emelin was ejected for this hit on Matt Calvert


Alexei Emelin has been in and out of the Montreal Canadiens lineup, but this wasn’t the way they wanted him to keep his legs fresh.

The hard-hitting defenseman received a game misconduct and five-minute major penalty for a late hit on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert on Tuesday.

So far, it sounds like Calvert may be OK.

You can see video of that hit above, as well as a GIF of the infraction via My Regular Face.

Many believe that Emelin should not have been ejected.

Injuries continue to dog Lupul as Leafs place him on IR

Joffrey Lupul
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Injuries have been a regular problem for Joffrey Lupul for much of his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it doesn’t look like that’s changing in 2015-16.

The team placed him on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 28, calling up Rich Clune in the process.

This IR stint means that Lupul will miss at least three games for Toronto.

From the sound of things, it’s a nagging issue, as notes.

“He’s been having the same problem here for a bit,” Mike Babcock told media members on Sunday. “He doesn’t seem to be getting the power back that they thought, so we’re just trying to monitor it the best we can.”

Leafs Nation points out that Lupul has missed about one-third of Toronto’s contests since suffering a separated shoulder in April 2012.

At 32, there’s still time for Lupul to fight through this, although injuries generally accumulate with age.

WATCH LIVE: Wild at Blackhawks; Penguins at Sharks

Scott Darling, Charlie Coyle
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Will Ryan Suter say something foolish during tonight’s game? Is Brent Burns‘ beard so long that it’s finally starting to scrape the ice?

We’ll find out the answer to those questions and more during Tuesday’s NBCSN doubleheader.

Need to follow the two games online? Never fear.

Game 1: Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks


Game 2: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks