San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan and his team have a chance to sweep the Vancouver Canucks out of the playoffs Tuesday night in Game 4 of their first-round series. But before the Sharks dispatch the Canucks, McLellan is making sure he can fire some return shots in a developing war of words.
The first shot was lobbed Monday afternoon when Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa alleged the Sharks — particularly Logan Couture and Joe Thornton — were guilty of embellishing. While Couture and Thornton stepped around the accusations, McLellan offered some pretty strong words.
“They use that word embellish, and I haven’t heard that for a while,” McLellan said, according to CSN Bay Area. “In fact, I think it was in vogue a couple of springs ago.”
McLellan, of course, is referring to the Canucks’ 2011 run to the Stanley Cup Final. The Canucks were accused of diving and embellishing that postseason, and apparently the league hasn’t forgot about it. If McLellan’s words are any indication, it would appear the rest of the league hasn’t forgotten about another Vancouver transgression.
“If we go back now to look at the series, we’ve been called cheaters in Game 1, we’ve been called embellishing Canadians after Game 3,” McLellan continued. “If the series goes any deeper, we may be accused of biting, eventually.”
That is probably a shot at Vancouver forward Alex Burrows who appeared to bite Patrice Bergeron during the 2011 Cup Final. Speaking of Burrows, he was dragged into the conversation as well.
“I guess it if I was him, while he’s up on his soap box trying to save the integrity of the game and doing all that stuff, I’d swing by player No. 14 [Burrows] and player No. 17 [Ryan Kesler] — The Beast — and have a little talk with them about diving and the integrity,” Sharks forward Adam Burish quipped. “Then he can work his way over to our room. But, I’d start with those two guys in his room.”
The Sharks can close out the series Tuesday night in San Jose.