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

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

How?

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.