...the Sharks held a rare practice Wednesday at HP Pavilion. Coach Todd McLellan wanted players to familiarize themselves with the building's new boards, the first change in the basic playing area since the arena opened in 1993."They're very much alive," defenseman Douglas Murray said of the boards after Wednesday's practice. "The puck comes off hot, and it's one of those things where you either have it hurt you, or you can make it an advantage."
McLellan coached in Detroit for three seasons, where the Joe Louis Arena boards have been the league's liveliest, and the Red Wings design plays to benefit from that. But he said it's too soon to do the same in San Jose.
"It's about spots, the angle of a shot," the coach said, "but it has to be a natural reaction. It can't be a thinking thing, and I'm not sure we're at that level yet. We've still got to just play the game and whatever happens, happens."