SAN JOSE --
When the San Jose Sharks
made the playoffs this year, it was like a homecoming for defenseman Colin White
, a free-agent pickup.
White made the playoffs his first 10 NHL seasons with the New Jersey Devils
before missing out last season. He won the Stanley Cup in 2000 with New Jersey as a rookie and again in 2003. In 2001, the Devils reached the Stanley Cup Final but lost in seven games to Colorado.
Overall, White has played in 112 NHL playoff games.
"I missed the playoffs last year for the first time in my career, so it's nice to be back in the playoffs this year," White said Thursday morning after the Sharks' optional skate at HP Pavilion. "It's just great to be back in this atmosphere where it's fun."
White was a healthy scratch the first two games of San Jose's series against St. Louis in the Western Conference Quarterfinals, but he was in the lineup for Game 3 on Monday night and scored his third career playoff goal during the Sharks' 4-3 loss.
White will likely be in the lineup again Thursday night for Game 4 at HP Pavilion, paired with Justin Braun
. In such a pivotal game, the Sharks can use White's wealth of experience in pressure situations.
"It's been great all year," Braun said. "We've had good chemistry for most of the year, and I feel like that's carried over. We're usually on the same page for most plays, and if something doesn't go right, we talk about it. He stays calm and helps me stay calm throughout the game. We're down in the series, but he keeps the boys positive."
White said he hasn't addressed the team during the playoffs, but he has passed along plenty of stories during the season about his career, that started at the pinnacle.
"The first year I was on a great team," White said. "I had a very small role on that team, but it's still a role. I think that's the biggest thing I learned that year, was no matter if you were playing 11, 12 minutes a night, it was a very important 11, 12 minutes. I think the next time we won I was playing more minutes, but I realized there were guys still playing 11, 12 minutes that were very important.
"I think over my career that's the biggest thing. Come playoff time you need everybody and everybody's going to get a shot because with injuries and whatnot throughout the playoffs, it takes everybody on a team to win. I think that was the biggest thing I've learned over the years. It takes a commitment by 25 guys, all pulling in the same direction, all believing in the same goal and trusting the guy next to you."