Todd McLellan

Sharks coach vents about power play, officiating after loss


San Jose head coach Todd McLellan wasn’t happy that the Sharks lost to the Minnesota Wild 3-1 on Sunday, and wasn’t just because his team was defeated despite a 38-13 shot advantage. He fumed to about the Sharks power play and about questionable officiating after the game.

“The power play was awful. I don’t know if I’ve been in six years as disappointed with the power play as I am right now,” McLellan said. “And, it’s not even me. I’m sure they’re disappointed in the power play, too. They’re an elite group that has come out and been a threat for a long time.

“I’d like to see two or three guys take charge of it, and let’s get going because they go out and it’s really killing the momentum that we gain.”

He was also hoping for an explanation on the 1-0 goal. Zach Parise scored on a play in which Antti Niemi believed he was interfered with, which left the Sharks sour, as San Jose saw a potential overtime-winner waved off under similar circumstances on Nov. 10.

Here’s the goal:

“I’ll be looking for an explanation, because before we lose our third point now – and, again, I don’t know the outcome of the game would have went,” McLellan said. “Who knows what happens if that’s disallowed? But, if we’re comparing the two, I don’t understand it, so before we get to the third one, I’d really like that rule clarified.”

Fair or not, the Sharks must move on … and turn that power play around.

Sabres waive d-man Donovan

HKN Sabres Senators
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Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.

Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.

The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.

The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.

Stars to scratch Nichushkin after rough outing versus Avs?

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Looks as though slumping Dallas winger Valeri Nichushkin could be a healthy scratch tonight when the Stars host the Oilers at American Airlines.

Per the Morning-News, Nichushkin — who barely played in the second and third periods of Saturday’s 6-3 loss to Colorado — is likely to be replaced by Colton Sceviour in the lineup.

Stars head coach Lindy Ruff was fuming after the Avs defeat, calling it “embarrassing, worse than disappointing.” It didn’t take a genius to realize one of the players in his doghouse was Nichushkin, who had just 2:02 of ice time in the second period and 3:24 in the third.

Yesterday, Ruff dropped Nichushkin to the fourth line in practice.

“I’ve been trying to help him by shifting him around,” the head coach explained. “He had some struggles early in camp on right wing, so I put him on left, and he doesn’t seem real comfortable at left right now.

“His game, everything has got to get a little bit quicker.”

The 10th overall pick in 2013, Nichushkin has struggled to build on the form shown in his rookie campaign, when he scored 14 goals and 34 points in 79 contests.

He missed nearly all of last season with a linger hip ailment and has been a virtual non-factor through the first two games this year.