It is rare you have so much time off during the course of an NHL season. Sure there are All-Star breaks that all the teams and players enjoy, except for the players and coaches that have to participate. I am not one that ever had that experience! In fact, I do not think I watched more than a few All-Star games while I was in the NHL. I do remember part of one All-Star game I caught while at a local restaurant in Minnesota. It was in Chicago and my best memory of watching that particular game was when my former college and Montreal teammate Chris Chelios took the puck off the boards at the blue line and switched hands and walked down the middle of the slot and shot the puck left handed!
Back to time off during the season.
The Sharks have had one full week without a game. That is rare in the NHL but I am certain that it has come at the best possible time for the whole team as well as their extended families. The team had played well prior to the trade for Joe Thorton. There could be a good argument that with a bounce of the puck or a big save they could have won four or five of the ten games during the losing streak.
Whenever there is a break like this for a team, there are two types of statements or peanut gallery comments you will hear. 1. Was the break too long and will the team be ready to play? 2. Having this long break will be great for the team right now and allow them time to rest up and be with their families.
My choice would be number two. This team started off the exhibition season on fire! They played wide open and never lost a game. Then the regular season started and they found themselves behind in many games which puts a big strain on the top scorers and top defenseman.
The Sharks are coming off of a five-game winning streak and I have seen some of the most entertaining hockey in those five games that I have seen in a long time. With all the rest the Sharks have had, I hope that they will come out against the Washington Capitals and play a hard skating, physical game. The Capitals beat up on the Kings recently in a hard hitting 3-2 win and I have not seen a team in the NHL this season take the body as well as the Washington. Rested or not, be ready to hit or be hit versus the Caps!