SAN JOSE -- When the Sharks reconvene for practice on Tuesday after two full days off, the practice facility will be a little less congested behind closed doors.
The camera crew from the Epix network concluded its taping with Saturday’s Sharks-Kings Stadium Series game at Levi’s Stadium. The four-part web series streams its final episode on Tuesday night.
Sharks coach Todd McLellan praised the Epix crew’s professionalism.
“They were very respectful for our environment,” the coach said. “They understood when we needed time and space, and [when] we asked, they gave. They positioned themselves well. They almost became part of the team, somewhat.”
McLellan said on Saturday morning that he hadn’t watched any of the first three episodes, which feature a rare look inside the dressing room before, during and after games, as well as some off-ice endeavors of both Sharks and Kings players. Brent Burns, for example, took a trip to the zoo with his family during the All-Star weekend in Columbus in one episode, while in another the crew went to Joe Pavelski’s house to film the run-up to a game day.
As is often the case since HBO first started this type of series in 2011, seeing how the head coach interacts with his team in times of strife is compelling. On more than one occasion, McLellan has let fly with countless expletives when addressing the players.
Although he hasn’t watched, he’s heard about that aspect of it.
“I think, like the rest of the coaches, I didn’t realize that we swore as much as we did. I was reminded of that at home a few times,” McLellan said. “I don’t know if it’s emotion or what it is, because I’m not like that away from the rink. I have the ability to turn it off and on. I spend a lot of time with (the media) and I’m not like that.
“Maybe you don’t even realize you’re that aggressive with those words, or if those words insinuate strength or power or whatever. I don’t know. But, they seem to just come out. … I’m not sure they’re coming out as much when you’re winning.”
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What makes the Epix crew different from other media is that they aren’t there to editorialize. They are simply there to capture what the public doesn’t get a chance to see on an everyday basis.
That made it an easier transition, according to McLellan, who offered a broad opinion on the media landscape as a whole.
“We may have a blogger that lives 3000 miles away and has never been to San Jose, and he’s got an expert opinion on our team,” McLellan said. “Until you’re around, it’s a different world. These guys are around 24-7, and they don’t have an opinion. They are just showing people what happens.
“I think our guys are a lot more comfortable with that than four or five guys expressing their opinion of what’s right or what’s wrong. I know you guys have a job to do, and we’re respectful of that, but as you can tell our group doesn’t always agree with your opinion.”
Considering how much the Epix crew was around for the past six weeks, some friendships have likely formed.
“They’ll all be shaking the Epix guys’ hands and saying thanks, but we’ll all be happy that it’s over,” McLellan said.