SAN JOSE -- Todd McLellan is an outspoken foe of the shootout, but it's almost as if the hockey gods are trying to convince the Sharks coach to change his mind.
After all, San Jose's ninth shootout win of the season, 2-1 Saturday night over the Chicago Blackhawks, tied the Sharks with the Toronto Maple Leafs for most in the NHL. His team now has won six shootouts in a row and eight of its last nine.
But McLellan isn't budging in his disdain for the "skills competition."
"I still believe that we play the best team sport in the world, and I wish we could finish that way," he said Sunday after an optional Sharks practice.
McLellan will take the extra point that comes with shootout success, of course, but he's not putting too much stock in the recent run.
"We all know how it can change," he said. "I think it was about two months ago when we were discussing how we were ever going to score another shootout goal. It's just cyclical, it's moments. That's just the way it is."
The Sharks coach acknowledged he doesn't have a better method of avoiding ties in the NHL. Extending overtime as much as 15 or 20 minutes would be taxing on already fatigued high-end players and could lead to injuries, he noted.
Whether Tennyson plays remains to be seen, as he also was brought up from the AHL last month only to be a healthy scratch for five games.
"He could, I don't know yet," McLellan said. "We may have to at some point, so I feel good about it. Tenny has played, and when he did he went right in and fit in well." Tennyson, 23, had two assists in four games with San Jose last season.
While McLellan did not specify the injury to Demers, he said it did not appear to be a long-term problem such as an ankle or a knee.
During San Jose's three-game losing streak, there were 35 shots on net from the blue line, and 28 others blocked; against the Blackhawks, 13 shots got through, and only two were blocked.
"We've just got to be ready to shoot when we get the puck," said Matt Irwin, who had five shots on net against Chicago and one blocked. "Find a line, get it to the net quick. It doesn't have to be a slap shot, just get it there. If it goes in, it goes in. If not, it creates second and third opportunities."
Philadelphia (27-23-6) at Sharks (35-15-6), 7:30 p.m. CSNCA