Tuesday morning the Sharks departed for Nashville for a compact trip that will have them play three games in four nights. Things begin Wednesday against the Predators, continue Thursday against the Stars and conclude Saturday in St. Louis.
“It’s been a really tough schedule,” Dan Boyle
said. “Really tough. There seems to have been a lot of three in fours. Certainly the fatigue excuse is there to use, but I’d rather we not.”
At the conclusion of this trip, San Jose will have played an outstanding 19 of 33 contests away from HP Pavilion and that includes the two games in Europe, which redefined the term road trip.
Things will balance out over the course of the season, but for now the Sharks will have to find a way to play through it.
A key factor is rest. While going to a movie may not seem tiring, when the body takes the abuse of three NHL games in four nights, doing nothing but eating is beneficial.
“I rest, you try to get rest where you can,” Boyle said. “I think rest is underrated, very important. You want to practice hard, but you have to have enough in the tank to bring it when the game comes.”
“A lot of rest and good eating,” Jason Demers
said. “Rest as much as you can and sleep as much as you can. It won’t be as bad because we’re doing the two games right away (back to back) instead of at the end.”
Players don’t even want to extend themselves too much at something as simple as the game day practice session.
“Even just a morning skate, you go out and get what you need and get off when your body tells you to,” Boyle said.
A potential positive to this short sojourn to the Midwest and south is the Sharks, who traditionally are one of the NHL’s best road clubs, seemed to find their groove in taking three of their last five road contests.
“We took some big strides the last road trip with those two comeback games we had and turned the corner a little bit. It’s a matter of keeping that going,” Demers said.
The Sharks will visit Nashville Wednesday at 5 p.m. and the game will be on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and www.sjsharks.com.