The mission: Fix a Sharks penalty kill that last season was worse than every other NHL team's except the Columbus Blue Jackets, then had even less success in the playoffs.

The process: Add two defense-oriented minds behind the bench to help analyze the problem and design the solution. Bring in two new players -- defenseman Brad Stuart and forward Adam Burish -- with short-handed experience.

The plan?

"I could talk about what we'd like to do up-ice and what we'd like to do on entries and faceoffs, but it would be a not-very-smart decision to share that," coach Todd McLellan said Wednesday. "The general theme is we'd like to be a more assertive, more aggressive penalty kill."

Talk further with players and coaches, however, and some changes become apparent:

Expect more forwards to be involved. McLellan likes the idea of one pair from each line being used short-handed. So far, that means Logan Couture with Marty Havlat, Tommy Wingels with TJ Galiardi, and Andrew Desjardins with Burish. The top line? More on that later.

The Sharks call that moment to pressure an opponent a "go point." Recognizing it is one thing, and now the Sharks are focusing more on how to respond collectively when it happens.

Expect some of that newfound assertiveness to show up in front of the San Jose net when an opponent tries to camp out there.