The San Jose Sharks have lost their first two games of the current season long eight game road trip, but even had they won the opening two contests, they would not have a moment to reflect back.
“There is no time to think about anything,” said Kyle McLaren. “They are disappointing losses, but we have to move forward.”
San Jose would still like to come home by winning at least half of the eight games.
“Hopefully we can win a few and get to .500 on this trip,” said McLaren.
The reason there is not time to rest is the Sharks are in the middle of playing four games in five nights, a difficult stretch even if they were based in San Jose the whole time.
“We have to get our rest and basically play every day,” said McLaren. “When you think about four in five nights, it’s a tough stretch. If we think about it one game at a time, we should be fine.”
The Sharks are in a tight battle with for the Pacific Division title, but due to their location out east, do not always have the ability to watch a game ending after one in the morning. Therefore, scoreboard watching is not an option while playing three time zones away.
“It’s tuff on the east coast,” said McLaren. “The games end really early in the morning. We’re not staying up late glued to the internet.”
Staying up late will not do the Sharks any good if they do not win their games in hand though. The Sharks have played four fewer games than both Anaheim and Dallas and trail their rivals by three and nine points respectively.
“Dallas and Anaheim are one fire,” said McLaren. “We have to keep pace and worry about ourselves. We have to fight to move up to first.”
With 22 regular season games left, the Sharks are in the home stretch of the regular season, a stretch that will determine where they start the postseason.
“I think the last 20 games are more exciting for the fans and almost like a playoff run,” said McLaren. “The fans take it to another level. When the race is close in the last 20, it is a different atmosphere.”
TOUGH GOALIE Players are used to seeing their own get bloodied up in the scope of play, but rarely see a goaltender dripping with blood. That Evgeni Nabokov returned to the game Monday against the Islanders drew applause from his teammates.
“He showed a lot of courage to get back in there,” said McLaren. “He showed his competitiveness.”
NEXT GAME The Sharks will visit New Jersey Wednesday in a 4 p.m. PST battle that will be available on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.