Beneath the stands at SAP Center, Jason Chimera stands hunched over outside the visitor's locker room. Soon he's joined by Mathew Barzal and goalie Thomas Greiss, who's flexing his glove and blocker as he prepares for what's going to be a 40-save performance. As the lights in the arena bowl dim and the pregame videos plays on the scoreboard, more teammates file out into the hallway, tapping shin pads, shaking hands and getting each other pumped up.
Greiss leads them out towards the ice in single file. Some drop their hands back for a quick high-five as they turn the corner and walk through the tunnel. Aside from a few west coast Islanders fans cheering their entry into the still-dark rink, the team swims alone in the Shark Tank.