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Earthquake The Talk Of Practice

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks
Like most businesses in the Bay Area, the office talk Wednesday at Sharks Ice at San Jose centered on the 5.6 earthquake that struck Tuesday night. For many Sharks, it was their first earthquake experience, here or anywhere else for that matter.

Joe Thornton was among the many first-timers feeling a tremble.

“I didn’t know what to do,” said Thornton. “It kept going and going and going. I hope it never happens again.”

“We have them in Russia in some places,” said Alexei Semenov. “That the first one I felt. I was in the bookstore in the mall with the kids. You could see all the books shaking. It was kind of scary and fun.”

Craig Rivet had just put his two kids to bed and they came out during the quake.

“The kids jumped up and were looking at me with their eyes and mouths wide-open,” said Rivet.

Veteran Captain Patrick Marleau, who has worn the Teal for 10 years, said it was his first time feeling a quake of any magnitude.

“It’s the first one and it was a good one,” said Marleau.

Rookie Lukas Kaspar probably had the scariest experience of anyone. Having checked into a hotel the previous night, he had just stepped on to an elevator.

“I thought there was something wrong with the elevator,” said Kaspar. “After a couple of seconds, I tried to find the stop button. Then the door opened and I hadn’t moved. I was on the same floor.”

Surprisingly, there were a couple of earthquake veterans in the room.

Blueliner Matt Carle hails from Anchorage, Alaska and the Last Frontier is no stranger to the ground shaking.

“I was in the car, and didn’t feel this one,” said Carle. “In elementary school, we had drills regularly for earthquakes. I don’t think any I felt one that was a 5.6. That is pretty big. We were usually further from the center back home.”

Jonathan Cheechoo’s quake experience happened in San Jose during a game, although he was not playing. Not all fans in attendance felt it, but an earthquake struck during a Sharks playoff contest against Colorado. The lower part of HP Pavilion didn’t feel much, but in the hanging press box, and other portions of the building far above the fans, there was a bit of swaying. That included the area the scratched players and call-ups were sitting.

“It was during the playoffs and the rafters started shaking,” said Cheechoo. “I was looking down and thought I was going to die. I couldn’t get down to the lockerroom fast enough.”

Marc-Edouard Vlasic was in one back in Quebec of all places.

“It was maybe a year and a half ago, we had one in Quebec City,” said Vlasic.

The hit on the Richter Scale didn’t exactly send all the players hunting for new playing locations.

“Even if we had another quake, I wouldn’t want to move,” said Vlasic. “They said it only happens every 15-20 year s and you have things everywhere.”

“All the great places have bad catastrophes,” said Semenov. “In Texas they have tornados. In Florida, they have hurricanes.”

San Jose will have one more day of practice before playing their next contest Friday evening at HP Pavilion. Team Teal still leads the Pacific Division with their 6-5-1 mark, but the club knows they have more to show.

“It’s been a roller coaster,” said Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson. “We need consistency more than anything. Some of it is youth and some is immaturity. Not what you’d think from the young guys, but some of the veterans in leading the whole group.”

“The biggest thing is the way we play,” said Nabokov. “Sometimes when we’ve won, we played well, but we need it all the time. Right now we’re not satisfied. We can play much better, and when we do, the wins will come.”

To a player the Sharks feel that consistency is the biggest problem.

“We have to concentrate on being consistent,” said Nabokov.

The good news for Sharks fans is the club is sitting in first, but the players aren’t pretending that is enough.

“We’re not where we want to be,” said Cheechoo. “Everyone is disappointed in the start. We don’t want to be just hovering around .500.”

The Sharks aren’t looking to recreate their entire game, but instead to refine what works when they are clicking on all cylinders.

“We just need everyone being good at what they’re good at,” said Cheechoo. “I’ve been trying to move my feet a little more. We have to use our speed and play with energy. When we’re winning, we’re doing those things.”

The Sharks could be without Ryane Clowe and Rob Davison for quite a bit of time.

“He (Clowe) is going to be out a while,” said Wilson. “He won’t be playing this week. Davey will be out 10 days.”

Jeremy Roenick was given the day off and Mike Grier rested his groin, but is not expected to miss any games.

Should it last until Friday, Sharks fans will get a new look from Joe Thornton. Those paying attention on television have noticed his beard reaching playoff proportions. For Wednesday’s practice, he shaved it down except for the mustache.

The Sharks will host Los Angeles on Friday night at HP Pavilion in a 7:30 p.m. start. The contest will be available on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and

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