Respect from San Jose

The Sharks have good reason to be confident, given that they’re riding an eight-game winning streak and, during that time, have not allowed a first-period goal (and have allowed only 14 goals overall). Yet, the Kings are 2-0-1 against the Sharks this season, so it’s no surprise that San Jose coach Todd McLellan had high praise for his division rivals this morning…

MCLELLAN: “I think they’re an excellent hockey club. When we watch them play other teams — we may be pre-scouting Edmonton or whomever — and L.A. happens to play, we make the comment (that) a lot of times they’re doing it right. They’re well-positioned. They have, right now, two defensemen that are very active and make them dangerous. I think their goaltending is exceptional, not just stopping the puck, but he has the ability to initiate a breakout. He’s getting better and better at that all the time. They’re a tough team to play against. They have a lot of confidence and they have earned that.”

Also, here’s what McLellan said about his team not allowing a first-period goal in nine consecutive games…

MCLELLAN: “It’s an excellent habit. It’s not something that we talk about, or set goals, in regards to one period. It’s a 60-minute plan. It just happens that we haven’t given one up. I don’t think we’re going to go the whole season that way. It’s a nice luxury to have, because it allows us a chance to get a lead. I think, in this league, a lead is very important. But again, in the locker room before we go out there, we don’t talk about, `Hey, in the first period we’ve got to keep them to this or that.’ It’s happening that way, and it’s a great thing for us.”

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