LOS ANGELES -- Patrick Marleau admitted he didn’t see a nomination for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy coming. The Sharks’ second-leading goal-scorer in the regular season, Marleau spoke about his nomination at Tuesday’s morning skate at Staples Center, where the Sharks are preparing for Game 3 of their series with the Kings.
“I wasn’t even thinking about it, really,” Marleau said. “I was very surprised and very appreciative.”
“You come to the rink every day and try to do things to help the team and do better and keep striving to play well. It’s nice to see that it’s been appreciated.”
It’s the second time he’s been nominated for the award, of which Colorado’s Ryan O’Reilly and New York’s Martin St. Louis are the other finalists. (This awards voter, incidentally, had Marleau on his ballot along with O’Reilly, but not St. Louis).
Todd McLellan said: “I’m really happy for him. Patty plays the game the right way. We see a lot of stuff that goes on where players are questioned about their ethics on the ice, and suspensions and whatnot. He has a high skill level, he competes hard every night, he plays physical, but he plays ethically the right way. … To this point, he’s done a tremendous job and he’s played for so many years, so it’s nice to see him recognized for that.”
In 2006, Marleau lost out to Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk. The winner this year will be chosen at the NHL’s Awards Show in Las Vegas on June 24.
Dan Boyle quipped: “It’s not something you dream about. I guess it gets you a flight to Vegas,” before laughing, and praising Marleau’s season.
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McLellan generated some laughs of his own in his pregame presser when asked about rookie Tomas Hertl’s innocence.
The Sharks’ head coach referenced a recent column in the San Jose Mercury News about the 20-year-old sensation.
“I read an article today about him being at Dave and Buster’s,” McLellan said. “He’s still a kid. There’s no better answer than that. He’s still a youngster. He’s  years old, getting his feet wet in the NHL playoffs.
“You look at some of the comments that come out of his mouth, they’re young player’s comments. ‘I [not much] like LA.’ Those might be the only seven or eight words that he knows right now. He’s that young, that innocent. He’s just playing hockey. Great kid.”
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Minnesota’s Matt Cooke is under heavy scrutiny after a knee-on-knee hit to Colorado’s Tyson Barrie, who will be out for the next four-to-six weeks. Cooke, who has a long history of dirty hits, has a disciplinary hearing with the league.
Sharks forward Raffi Torres knows a thing or two about what Cooke must be going through.
"People are pretty lethal, especially on social media," Torres told ESPN.com. "He's done a great job of changing his game and doing the work that he's had to put in. It's just one of those plays. He's locked in, it's like [Brent] Seabrook, it's tough to pull out. I don't think he's trying to hurt a man like that.
"I think he's done a heck of a job the last couple of seasons to re-establish his game. But with the media getting involved and especially social media, they make him out to be a serial killer. It's kind of painful when you have to read that kind of stuff. I'm sure his family and close friends have to read that kind of stuff."
Torres said he hasn’t had discussions with Cooke about the similarities they’ve experienced, but he can still relate. Torres was suspended for games two through seven of last year’s second round against the Kings after hitting Jarret Stoll.
"I'm sure he felt brutal in that moment [Monday] night, thinking, 'What did I just do? All that work goes down the drain.' He'll take what he gets and I'm sure he'll be back being an effective player for them in the future."