McLellan rips ‘complacent’ Sharks after third straight loss

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The San Jose Sharks have just one regulation defeat this season and are a point out of first place in the NHL.

But, according to head coach Todd McLellan, there’s plenty of room for improvement.

McLellan took his team to task following Tuesday’s 5-4 shootout loss to last place Buffalo, suggesting the Sharks have taken their foot off the pedal after starting the year 8-0-1.

“This was a fear of mine that we would be complacent, and we would turn it up when we thought we had to, and that was exactly what we got,” McLellan told CSN Bay Area. “I thought we were outworked for a large part of the game and out-detailed, certainly.”

As mentioned, the Sabres loss was San Jose’s third straight — they also dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to Phoenix on Saturday, and a 4-3 OTL in Los Angeles on Wednesday. The Sharks are still accumulating points (24 of a possible 30 thus far), but there are signs of struggle.

Their once-dominant power play has scored just three times in its last 25 attempts, and McLellan says sloppiness has led directly to a number of goals against in recent games.

“We probably played 10 minutes the way we want to and the other 55 were not very good,” he explained. “We weren’t anywhere near what we need to be to play against anybody in the league.”