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Sharks invade Detroit on Thursday night

Monday, 12.15.2008 / 1:23 PM ET / Tickets
By Mike G. Morreale
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Sharks invade Detroit on Thursday night
Todd McLellan spent the past three seasons learning from Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock. Now, the San Jose Sharks coach gets to show what he\'s learned when his team invades Joe Louis Arena on Thursday.
A possible preview of the Western Conference final will be staged Thursday in Detroit when the red-hot San Jose Sharks invade Joe Louis Arena to battle the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings.

The anticipated matchup pitting the top two teams in the West is the second meeting between the clubs this season. In the earlier contest on Oct. 30, San Jose scored a 4-2 victory as Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov made 25 saves. In the post-game press conference following the game, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock admitted his team got "winged."

"I thought they did everything exactly like we try to do," Babcock said. "They just did it better."

The fact San Jose coach Todd McLellan spent three seasons as an assistant to Babcock in Detroit before taking the reigns as head coach in San Jose last June probably had a lot to do with that.

"Todd and I have texted and talked a couple of times and I'm thrilled for him," Babcock told NHL.com. "He's doing a real good job and he's got a real hungry team. They have had tons of success and haven't had the playoff success they wanted. He's got his guys chomping and they've come of age. Adding (Dan) Boyle and (Rob) Blake has really solidified their back end and gets the puck going for them. And, Todd is a real good coach and a real good man. So, I'll be thrilled for him right up until playoff time."

Boyle downplayed the fact San Jose (24-3-3) is currently six points better than the Wings (20-5-4).

"Our records are pretty similar but we have the edge, so far," Boyle said. "Honestly, depth has probably the biggest key for us. We have four lines and six defenders. When our top goalie (Nabokov) got hurt, our backup (Brian Boucher) came in and did a great job. We've been lucky health-wise since we've been pretty injury-free. It's a long season and nothing really matters until June anyway."


STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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