Sharks looking to halt tailspin

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 6C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 - 8:15 am

SAN JOSE – The Sharks realize they need to improve in a number of areas if they want to be serious Western Conference contenders in this lockout-shortened season. But the team's confidence, according to coach Todd McLellan, is not something that should be in need of repair.

Despite collecting just three points in their present seven-game losing streak, the Sharks were not about to waver from their approach as they prepared to take on the St. Louis Blues today at Scottrade Center.

It's the first meeting between the teams since last season's playoffs, when the Blues dispatched San Jose in five games in the first round.

"When you're not winning and you're not scoring, everybody's confidence isn't probably where it needs to be. But sometimes that's an easy variable to turn to," McLellan said. "People say they've lost their confidence. Like where? In the mall?

"If you're not as confident, are you working as hard as you need to, are you executing the way you need to, are you playing as fast as you can?

"If the answer to those questions is yes, then you're OK. You'll score eventually. If the answer is no to some of those questions, then don't talk about confidence. Talk about fixing those things."

The Sharks have a power play that's converted just twice in its last 38 attempts, and they've scored just eight goals in the last seven games overall, but they still have faith in their approach. The problem, general manager Doug Wilson said, is when players try to do too much.

"You try and take the responsibility to go and do something that goes outside our system. You're doing it because you think that helps. It doesn't help," Wilson said. "The trust in how we play repetitively is what allows you to play very well for a long period of time. A lost detail is a lost game."

The Sharks' confidence wouldn't be hurt by a lucky break, either.

"We're definitely prepared for games. We get the scouting report, we get everything," said forward Scott Gomez, who has two assists in 10 games as a Shark. "Right now, hey, we need one to go off someone's (backside) and go in. A couple bounces here or there, it just gets you going."

That almost was the case for the Sharks' fourth line of Marty Havlat, Adam Burish and T.J. Galiardi against Nashville on Feb. 12.

The combination generated a number of scoring opportunities but didn't get the points to show for it.

"I'm just trying to take it shift by shift," said Havlat, whose six-game scoring drought is one of the longest in his 11-year career.

"Doesn't matter if it's me. It's nobody basically right now. We just need somebody to start it, and then everyone is going to follow. Not just about scoring, but the way we play. We need to get better in all parts."

Ducks 3, Blue Jackets 2 in Anaheim – Peter Holland and Ryan Getzlaf scored 21 seconds apart in the first period, rallying Anaheim to its fifth consecutive victory.

The Pacific Division-leading Ducks' winning streak is currently the longest in the NHL, and they've also won their last five home games.

They were coming off a 5-1-0 trip, the best win percentage for a trip of five or more games in franchise history.

Flyers 7, Islanders 0 in Uniondale, N.Y. – The line of Claude Giroux, Matt Read and Jakub Voracek combined for three goals and 10 points for Philadelphia, which had lost three of four on its six-game trip that ends Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

Giroux scored two goals and added an assist, Read had a goal and two assists and Voracek had four assists.

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