is once again leading the Sharks in ice time, currently at 25:24 per game.
One wonders how many minutes the Sharks “Marathon Man” could log in a whole game…
Boyle came close to finding out the answer when he was skating for Tampa Bay.
“I’ve played about 36 or 37 in a regulation game,” Boyle said. “We went in with five D because somebody was sick and I ended up playing about 37. Without overtime, that’s my high.”
Boyle said the experience was better than he might have thought -- for that evening anyway.
“I actually felt pretty good that night,” Boyle said. “We had back-to-backs with the next night and I was a little tired. That first night, I felt great.”
How much more could Boyle go then?
“It depends on how the game is being played,” Boyle said. “Some nights are easier than others. On a night where things are going well, you feel it. I have my nights where things aren’t going so well and I’m sucking air a little bit more.”
In San Jose, Boyle recalled a game in the 35-minute range, but now, his stamina depends on what his partner is doing.
“As long as Cranky (Douglas Murray
) breaks us out clean, as long as he mucks,” Boyle said, “I can (go even longer).”
For Boyle, playing so much is a satisfaction factor and his enjoyment of it kicks in no matter what the situation. He leads the club in even-strength play (16:41), shorthanded time (3:17) and power play time (5:25). Boyle is very proud of not being a one-dimensional skater and even enjoys a little extra rush when the shorthanded situations arise.
“Sometimes people assume they are easy minutes,” Boyle said. “Sometimes offensive D-men get overlooked defensively. I take a lot of pride playing shorthanded, especially 5-on-3. That’s one where the odds are stacked against you and I really enjoy killing a 5-on-3. I like when the odds are stacked against you.”
His teammates see him do it every game, but Boyle’s fellow Sharks are still amazed at how he plays so effectively for so long.
“Do the playoffs count when you go to overtime,” Marc-Edouard Vlasic
joked when discussing how someone could play 37 minutes in a game. “I’ve played a couple of 30-minute games, but Boyler is a guy who can do that. He’s in great shape and has good stamina. He makes plays from the first to the 37th minute.”
“It’s a reflection on his fitness and his efficiency on the ice,” Coach Todd McLellan said. “He’s not wasting a lot of energy running around out of position. He puts himself in good spots all the time and doesn’t have to chase the game. It makes him very special.”
LEADER OF THE PACK
Following his hat trick vs. New Jersey on Wednesday, Joe Thornton
now has five goals on the season. He leads the NHL in shooting percentage at 38.5 percent.
TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME
The Sharks players are definitely supporting the San Francisco Giants to win the World Series. In fact, a few of the players are heading up to AT & T Park to watch tonight’s Game Two vs. Texas.
“I’ve never been to a major league playoff game,” Vlasic said. “It’s nice to see the players playing in the postseason with all that pressure. On pitch, one at bat can make a world of difference. I’m looking forward to it tonight.”
Devin Setoguchi said his only World Series highlight was “on TV.”
“It’s good to support another local team in the Bay Area,” Setoguchi, who’s part of the Sharks World Series contingent, said. “I’ve met (Tim) Lincecum before and a couple of other players. They’re really nice guys and it will be fun to watch them and see what that atmosphere is like.”
DEREK JOSLIN SIGHTING
He may not be ready to play yet, but defenseman Derek Joslin skated with his teammates at practice today.
“I’ve been skating the last two weeks, but it’s been getting kind of stale out there,” Joslin said. “It’s good to get back to work. Everything felt great.”
San Jose will play hosts to Anaheim Saturday night at 7:30 and the game will be on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com. Tickets can be found at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com.