Wilson left mark

ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:27 AM ET

Leafs coach Ron Wilson was a popular figure at the HP Pavilion last night, his first return to San Jose since he was fired by the club this past spring.

But the winningest coach in Sharks history reiterated his belief that he has landed his dream job in Toronto and has no regrets.

"I love what I'm doing now," Wilson said prior to last night's game. "In baseball terms, I'm the manager of the New York Yankees."

Wilson admitted that he expected to have a few words for veterans such as Joe Thornton and Jeremy Roenick during the game that it would all be in good fun. He also wasn't expecting any rough treatment from the crowd.

"I hope they don't boo me," Wilson said. "I enjoyed my time here. I made a lot of good friends while I was here."

The man who replaced him, former Red Wings assistant Todd McLellan, said folks in California should appreciate the legacy Wilson left here.

"It's time for the people in San Jose to appreciate what he's done for the organization," McLellan said. "He's a tremendous coach and a good person.

"He left his mark on the organization for a number of years and as a result, we are reaping some of those benefits."

JOE'S JOB

Last night was the third anniversary of Sharks' star Thornton's arrival in San Jose.

Since Thornton played his first game with the Sharks in 2005, after being dealt to the West by the Boston Bruins, the team has had a winning percentage of .681, secon only to the Detroit Red Wings in that time span.

Even more impressive, since the trade Thornton is the leading scorer in the NHL compiling 328 points prior to last night's play. Second-best is Washington's Alex Ovechkin (315) followed by Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby (211).

HOLLWEG RETURNS

With the injury to Jamal Mayers in the Leafs' 3-1 victory over Los Angeles on Monday, Ryan Hollweg returned to the lineup last night.

Mayers who broke his right hand after crashing into the Leafs net and landing awkwardly. Wilson said he expects the rugged forward to be out of the lineup for at least four weeks.

LOOSE LEAFS

Entering last night, the Leafs had gone three consecutive games without giving up a power-play goal, killing off nine penalties over that period ... Meanwhile, the Sharks had won seven in a row and outscored opponents 35-12 in that span ... The Leafs' 3-1 win over the Kings was the first for the Leafs at the Staples Center.


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