On Thursday prior to the Sharks game against Anaheim, SJSHARKS.com caught up with Sharks defenseman Jay Leach for his segment of "Ask the Sharks."
Below are his answers to your best questions.
1.Can you tell me a little bit about your training regiment? Your former teammates have raved about your work effort… what do you do and what tools do you attribute to your success? –Keith I do a lot of different things from the weight room to the track. I run mountains and swim; I guess I just do a lot of different things to always keep the body guessing. I do long distance sprinting because I am a big guy with slow feet so I need to get those going.
2.When did you know that you were good enough to play in the NHL? –Drew I was a late bloomer, I think it was maybe four years ago I would say. After the lock-out I felt like I was ready to do it. I think you always want to believe that you are ready to do it, but there is a difference.
So, for me it took awhile and I'm still battling till this day to stay here. But, I would say that probably right after the lock-out I felt most comfortable.
3.Your first game with the Sharks was great. You didn't let anyone push us around. Is that your way of playing every night? – Jereme I’m not going to go out there and try and take a guy’s head off --- that’s not my game and I would be way out of position and they’ll score a goal. But if something happens with regards to what happened the other night with Danny (Boyle), then yes, that’s definitely my job and I need to bring that every night.
4.How has your role changed from college, through the pro ranks and now with the Sharks? – Keith I’m not a so-called "tough guy." I’m not going to go out there and beat anybody up. But at the same time, if I have to step in for teammates then I have to do that and that’s something that I will always do.
5.What do you like best about being with the San Jose Sharks? – Marge I would have to say the guys, from management on down. They have just been terrific people to hang out with, converse with, play with — everybody is very welcoming and the whole atmosphere here is very positive and it is nice to be here.
6.What is your impression of the Bay Area so far? – Mikaela I haven’t had a whole lot of opportunity to check it out but I got to see Santa Cruz and I went down to Carmel a couple days ago to see that and I like the whole vibe, it’s cool.
I’m from the Boston area and on that coast it's a little different, but at the same time there are some serious similarities which I enjoy. I like the weather, the climate is nice --- not too hot, not too cold and I just like the lifestyle, it is pretty laidback and enjoyable.
7.How do you manage moving from the AHL to the NHL and from the Canadiens to the Sharks? What is that like for you and your family? – Thomas My wife works and lives in Boston. She is a studio host and a sports reporter so she is home. That is not the easiest thing, but at the same time we are hopefully mature enough to handle it.
With regards to hopping on teams and off teams it’s not easy, I won’t sugar coat it. You have to learn a new system and new guys, but once you do it is nice to get settled. I guess the best thing to do is just take it one day at a time and not get too overwhelmed with everything. If you’re switching teams you just have to go to the rink one day and try to meet people and build from there. That’s all you can do.
8.You’ve been a part of six NHL organizations (Boston, Tampa Bay, Anaheim, New Jersey, Montreal, San Jose). How do the Sharks compare to other teams you’ve played for? It’s hard to compare years, but this year I’ve been on three different teams and the practice and the intensity that we have here is above and beyond what I’ve seen. I think that shows in our play and in our record but I’d have to say that the all-business type attitude we have out there at practice that carries over to the game is something that’s a little different than others. 9.What was your most embarrassing moment in your hockey career? The other day we had lunch for Rob Blake’s 40th birthday party and the Bruins game was on T.V. and my wife is the studio host for the Bruins. So, we are sitting at this table and there’s huge large screen T.V. and sure enough my wife comes on and I think a couple of the guys knew that it was my wife and I think a couple of the guys didn’t know that it was my wife. So a few comments were made, very flattering comments, but I don’t think that they knew she was my wife. I don’t know if it was embarrassing, but it was very amusing to have her on there. I emailed her and I said to give us a little signal to let you know that we’re watching so she gave us a little wink and the boys all saw it and I think that they really enjoyed that.