The view from San Jose

Sharks coach Todd McLellan was asked, after his team’s morning skate, about the difference between this season’s Kings and last season’s group…

MCLELLAN: “They’re more confident. They earned the right to be confident as the season wore on last year. I thought the coaching staff — and I said it last time in here — did a tremendous job with that team, with the young players. Doughty, when you compare him at this time, last year to this year, he’s obviously way more confident, and feels real good about his game. The goaltending has been tremendous. They’re a very, very good hockey club. We certainly understand that, and we know that we’ll have our hands full.”

Later, McLellan was asked about the standings, and the fact the Sharks enter tonight’s game with only a four-point lead over the Kings for first place in the Pacific Division. McLellan was asked the question, are the Sharks looking in their rear-view mirror at all?

MCLELLAN: “I have a sneaking suspicion that there are going to be teams behind us, or in front of us, throughout the year that are going to within four or six points. That’s going to happen all year. So for us to be at Dec. 9 and looking behind us and saying, `They’re creeping up on us,’ I don’t think that’s a very good approach for us to take at all. I think the approach we have to take is, one, are we getting better? And two, are we giving each other, as teammates, what we need to get better? We’ll continue to evaluate that way.”

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