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Being Prepared

by Cecile Nguyen / San Jose Sharks
With the last minute scratch to the Sharks leading scorer Patrick Marleau, winger Jed Ortmeyer got the call Thursday night to suit up.

Ortmeyer, who played in his third playoff game this season, was informed of the news right after the team's warm up skate.

"You have to be prepared for everything," said Ortmeyer, who was named a Masterton Finalist Monday. "Mentally, I got myself ready. I did everything I normally would do, eat, take a nap, my routine was the same. Just waiting to get the okay one way or another."

The Omaha, Nebraska native played six shifts for a total of 3:51 of ice time in the Sharks' 4-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

"I'm happy for the win. It is important to get the first one," said Ortmeyer. "During the game, I got a couple of hits; I just tried to get involved and create a little energy."

The 31-year-old winger said that he mentally prepares himself every game as if he was playing but given the short notice he probably would've warmed up a little more.

"Maybe just warming up my legs a little bit more and stretching," Ortmeyer said. "Just make sure that I was 100 percent. But I had an idea that Patty wasn't feeling well."

For players who don't regularly play, preparation is key.

"I guess you would prepare for it as if you were playing," defenseman Jay Leach said. "Your routine is pretty much the same thing: skate in the morning, lay low in the afternoon and maybe take a nap, get to the rink and do what do you as if you were playing.

"Stay a little loose, focus on the team and think about the fact that you might have to jump in there and perform right away and you are all set," Leach added.

Watching the game from the press box does have a benefit. It provides you a different perspective on the game and gives you time to mentally prepare, said Leach.

"I try to pick up on a couple of things your opponent does and maybe put yourself in certain situations that you may be in out there on the ice," added Leach.

"I would say a little bit of you is still a fan and rooting for the team. So it's kind of a combination of both. You definitely put yourself into the game and see yourself in certain situations that you see out there on the ice."

Added Ortmeyer: "After warm ups go up (to the press box), watch the game and try to stay mentally engaged, watching the play and watching the other team's tactics. And just stay focused until your name is called."

Sharks' Patrick Marleau was back on the ice with his teammates Saturday after missing the team's Western Conference Semifinals opener Thursday night.

Marleau spent some time playing on the third line at today's practice, though he did switch over to the familiar line with Thornton and Heatley during the team's mini special teams scrimmage, said he wouldn't be surprise if he starts out Game 2 on the third line.

"Todd (McLellan) does everything for a reason," said Marleau, the Sharks' leading scorer during the regular season. "If he thinks that will be a good fit for our team then I'm for it."

Head Coach Todd McLellan did remind the media to not read too much into the lines combination following today's practice.

Marleau suffered from flu-like symptoms and was a surprise scratch from the Sharks 4-3 win Thursday night.

"Usually there's sicknesses that you can play through and I've been able to do that in the before, but this one was a little bit tougher than I expected," said Marleau.

The Aneroid, Saskatchewan native said both he and the Sharks training staff made a collective decision to keep him out of Game 1.

"I told them (Sharks' training staff) my symptoms and they told me to get some rest, get better and get ready for Game 2," said Marleau. "I was up all night being sick the night before (Game 1) and about half hour before the game I felt sick again"

Marleau stated that if the team did not have an extra day off in between games and Game 2 was Saturday instead of Sunday, he would've been ready to go.

"But I am thankful for the extra day," said the 12-year veteran .

Being a bystander in Team Teal's Game 1 was tough, Marleau admitted, but he said he was glad for the win and knows what to expect from the Detroit Red Wings come Sunday.

"They try to feed off our mistakes and if we minimize those then it will be to our benefit," Marleau said. "They are always going to come at you no matter what the score is. They are always going to play the same way and I think if we take a page out of that book and do that ourselves."

Both the Sharks and Detroit Red Wings enjoyed an extra day off in between games, thanks to the Eagles two-day show at HP Pavilion.

In the series against the Colorado Avalanche, the Sharks played a game every other day and the Red Wings needed all seven games to dispatch the Phoenix Coyotes.

"I think it certainly helps both teams," defenseman Dan Boyle said of the extra day off. "It helps them; they probably need a day off because of their travel and their Game 7. I think it's going to benefit them for sure."

The extra time also allows the team to review the game and remain on that important even keel, said center Dwight Helminen

"You don't want to get to high after a win and think the rest of the series will be easy," added Helminen. "Time off will give us a chance to refocus after the win and give guys time to heal bumps and bruises."

San Jose will look to extend their 1-0 series lead over the rival Red Wings Sunday at 5 p.m. The game will be on Versus, 98.5 KFOX and
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