The Sharks will be without the services of Douglas Murray for tonight’s game against the Dallas Stars. Murray suffered a minor injury while colliding with Dany Heatley in Wednesday’s contest.
Murray actually skated at the game day practice in hopes of playing, but Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan went with the better safe than sorry route.
“It’s a lot better than we thought today,” said McLellan. “The decision was mine to keep him out.”
The good news is Murray is much improved from yesterday and won’t miss much time.
“I felt a lot better,” said Murray. “Obviously I went through the full skate and it’s nothing bad. I talked with coach, but I’m not going to go tonight.”
Saturday night in Phoenix could be a different story.
“There is a really good chance he could play tomorrow,” said McLellan.
With that news, Jay Leach will make his Sharks debut. Leach has been with San Jose since he was claimed off waivers from Montreal. He actually played the day prior for the Canadiens before San Jose picked him up.
“I’m looking forward to getting in,” said Leach. “It’s been a week and a half since I’ve been here and the next step is getting tested in a game. It makes you feel like a part of the team.”
Leach has been skating with the Sharks during every practice in an effort to get up to speed on McLellan’s system and now it’s time to jump in.
“I’m sure a couple of times I’ll be thinking too much,” said Leach. “You can’t duplicate a game scenario. I’ll let the boys do the work and I’ll tag along.”
Leach was a bit humorous when asked by reporters if the Sharks system catered to him.
“It better,” laughed Leach. “Or I’d better cater to the system.”
There is a bit of a feeling that first impressions can be important and Leach wants to provide the right one for the Sharks.
“I want to play a good game and make a good first impression,” said Leach.
“He’s a big body who can mix it up a bit,” said McLellan.
It will be a late night for the Leach family as his wife and parents are back on the east coast where the game will start at 10 p.m.
“She and my parents are going to be up late,” said Leach, noting it was a good thing tomorrow is Saturday.
HOMESTAND The Sharks are just 1-1-2 in their current homestand, but a win tonight could change the whole outlook on the five games.
“We’ve got four of eight points and if we win we’re up to six of 10 and we’ll take that,” said McLellan. “Now we have to do it.”
ACTIVATED The Dallas Stars announced today that the club has activated defenseman Karlis Skrastins from the team’s injured reserve list.
NEXT GAME The Sharks will host Dallas at 7 p.m. tonight and tickets can be found at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com. The contest will be on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.