A quirk in the Sharks schedule gave the team an unusual five days off between games. Head Coach Ron Wilson gave the players a day off on Tuesday. On Wednesday night, the entire Sharks team participated in The Sharks Foundation’s Annual Holiday Adoption Party.
Practices this week focused on preparing for their Friday night game against Washington and their outstanding rookie Alexander Ovechkin. Besides practices, many players took advantage of the extra time to get caught up on their holiday shopping and decorating.
Jonathan Cheechoo, who did sneak in a round of golf on Tuesday, nearly wrapped up his Christmas shopping and got his tree, but is waiting until Dec. 23 to decorate. That’s when his mom and dad arrive for the holidays and they will trim the tree together.
Rob Davison completed his shopping during his down time this week and also decorated the house with his wife Louisa.
“We put up all the lights and decorated the tree,” said the Sharks defenseman, who’s inviting several teammates to his house for Christmas dinner. “It was the perfect break in the schedule to get that done and mail out all my gifts.”
Scott Hannan took advantage of Tuesday’s day off from practice to sleep in, a luxury he doesn’t get that much during the season. Hannan also used the free time to get a break after several recent visits to the dentist for continuing work on Hannan’s front tooth which was damaged during the Nov. 12 game against Dallas
“Other than the occasional Sunday we have off, it was nice to sleep in,” said Hannan, “And it beats going to the dentist.”
Like Davison, Hannan isn’t expecting any family for the holidays as his parents were here less than a month ago.
Niko Dimitrakos says he just started his Christmas shopping and was hoping to get more done this afternoon.
“My Christmas tree is up and ready to go,” said the third-year right winger. “I’m looking forward to my mom, dad and sister’s visit in a few days.”
“He might be the best rookie in the League right now,” said Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson of the Capitals rookie phenom. “He can skate, he can shoot and he hits people.”
Ovechkin, who leads all NHL rookies and is 17th overall with 34 points (18 goals and 16 assists) in 29 games, has been touted by some hockey media as having the best chance to win the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year.
“While other rookies might have a better supporting cast,” said Wilson, “the numbers he (Ovechkin) has put up this season speak for themselves.”
It has been several years not, but the Capitals are the last team Wilson coached prior to his successful stint in San Jose. On his current staff, Tim Hunter was his assistant in Washington and Rob Zettler was a player. The Capitals still have Wilson's old general manager on staff along with several players who played for Wilson, including Olaf Kolzig.
Tune in to FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX or sjsharks.com on Friday at 7:30 p.m. as the Sharks take on the Washington Capitals. Tickets are still available at www.ticketmaster.com or the HP Pavilion Ticket Office.