SAN JOSE -- Todd McLellan hasn't completely put his team's poor effort against the Anaheim Ducks 48 hours ago behind him, and he stressed wants his team to be mindful of where things need to improve Thursday night against the Edmonton Oilers.
The Sharks coach was anything but apologetic for being highly critical of his players after their 6-3 loss.
"You know what? After a game like that you're frustrated and sometimes it's good for individuals, good for the group to feel your frustration, too. It's good to vent," McLellan said after his team's optional morning skate. "It's good to vent, for them to know what's sometimes being said behind closed doors in the coaches' office. If the words come out of our mouths -- What do you do? -- that's alarming."
Sharks turnovers and a lack of intensity led to several Anaheim goals and McLellan spelled out what needs to change against Edmonton, even though San Jose is facing the worst team in the Pacific Division.
"Tonight, against this opponent," McLellan said, "one of the lines our group is going to hear from me is do we want to feed their transition game, their speed game, their skill game. Or would we like to feed our forecheck. The puck's the bait. What are we going to do with it?"
Somebody, he added, is "going to eat, and it might as well be us on the attack."
After the loss in Anaheim, McLellan wanted each player to look in the mirror and ask himself what he contributes to the team and he repeated that again Thursday.
"Our group has to ask themselves that," he said. "We're not getting drilled. The season's not running away on us. But I want us to be good every night."
Thursday morning's skate was an optional one so it was not possible to detect any line changes that McLellan might have in mind. But he is sticking with Antti Niemi in goal, even though he was pulled before the end of the second period in Anaheim.
"You (could have had) Ken Dryden and anybody else you want in the net in Anaheim the other day with the effort we had," McLellan said.
"He won't play tonight -- put the skates on today and didn't feel good," said McLellan, who has not provided at timetable for Wingels to return.
"He's as valuable to our team as anybody we have, as anybody that's been here over the last six years," the coach said. "He's a cerebral player. He understands the game, he studies it. He's a competitive guy, as competitive as they come. I think you can tell I like him."
Pavelski was named the Sharks' player of the month for December with a team-leading seven goals in 12 games as well as five assists.