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UNIONDALE, N.Y. –- They have already been mentioned in the same breath as the previous team to blow a 3-0 series lead in the playoffs.
In 2010, the Boston Bruins were ahead by that margin in a second round playoff series against the Flyers. Philadelphia stormed back, though, and captured the series in seven games.
All Boston did the next season was win the Stanley Cup.
Could the 2014-15 San Jose Sharks do the same? It’s a little early to throw out those kinds of expectations, and on Thursday morning before the Sharks-Islanders game, coach Todd McLellan indicated he doesn’t particularly want to hear about it.
“The most recent analogy has been to compare us to Boston, and I don’t think that’s fair at all,” McLellan said.
“Boston has its own organization, its own way of doing things, as do we. To say that history will or will not repeat itself is very unfair to our group. We have to go and play a long season and deal with the days as they come.”
The Bruins didn’t make a whole lot of changes from 2010 to the next season, and the Sharks didn’t either, despite early offseason indications that something major was looming and a rebuild was about to commence.
Instead, the team focused on fixing its internal culture, starting in the dressing room and with a reshuffling of the leadership group.
McLellan offered an update in how things are going from that perspective.
“I like where we’re at. I like the voice in the locker room,” he said. “It’s not necessarily one or two -– it seems to be a large group, which is something we strive for. Mission accomplished? Not yet. But stage one, perhaps.”
Was there a point after last season where there was a question of whether the belief system was there among the group?
“There were a lot of questions asked. I think that’s pretty evident, especially within our organization. We were very open with it. A lot of questions were asked at multiple levels. We’re not just talking about players, we’re talking about the coaching staff and everybody else.
“Are we doing things the right way? Do we like how we carry ourselves? Do we give the players the information they need? How do they react to it?
“We turned over a lot of stones. We’re back together as the group we have now in its infancy stage. We’re trying to grow it. That’s what our jobs are.”