San Jose will likely get one of their two injured players back for Tuesday’s Anaheim contest. Right wing Scott Parker has not played since November 21 in Edmonton and is likely to play, but defenseman Kyle McLaren will likely rest his knee one more game as result of his arthroscopic surgery last week.
“I don’t think Kyle will be able to play, but Parker will be ready for sure,” said Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson.
Parker was medically ready to play in Edmonton, but this time the Sharks went well beyond Parker being medically cleared.
“You never know until you play,” said Wilson. “You want to make sure there are no set backs and there haven’t been for more than 10 days. We have practiced him really hard. You don’t know until there is physical contact if he is over the hump.”
Needless to say, Parker is excited about a return to the ice.
“I’m looking forward to it,” said Parker. “I’ve been waiting to go and to contribute.”
Parker may have a defined role that everybody knows about, but he is a former first round draft pick who knows what to do when hockey is being played.
“There are a few things I want to take care of,” said Parker. “I don’t want to go too crazy. I’ll play hockey and hope for the best.”
With McLaren out, another Sharks player who has played just once this year may hop into the lineup. Josh Gorges, who made the team out of training camp and made his NHL debut in the season’s second game against Chicago, has been mentioned as a possibility by Wilson for the upcoming Anaheim contest.
“At training camp, he played well and made the team,” said Wilson. “At the time we brought up Murray, it could have been Josh.”
Gorges’ first game was not one for the archives. He was on the ice for 13 minutes and 40 seconds, finishing with a -1, but that was not a bad line for the Sharks that evening as they lost 6-3.
“His only other game was in Chicago and that was a disaster for everyone,” said Wilson.
Wilson is excited to give the 21-year-old another chance.
“We think he can play and he deserves a chance to play,” said Wilson.
From a development standpoint, Gorges is better off in Cleveland if he is not a regular part of the lineup.
“Young people have to play games, especially defensemen,” said Wilson. “Every game there is experience you can benefit from.”
Gorges is ready for another opportunity.
“It is very exciting,” said Gorges. “You hope to play when you get called up so you can go out there and show your stuff. You want to make the most of your opportunities. When I was sent down, I was disappointed, but I just worked my tail off to be ready if they called again.”
Gorges has seen how well Murray has played and that he is now a regular defensive partner of Scott Hannan.
“Doug is the perfect example of making the most of your opportunity and he earned his position,” said Gorges.
GOALS KEEP COMING
The Sharks may have lost for the first time in seven games Sunday night, but they once again reached the four-goal plateau, marking the seventh consecutive time it has happened.
Sharks netminder Evgeni Nabokov notes the positives about the recent offensive surge.
“Before the game, your only concerned with stopping the opponents,” said Nabokov. “You don’t think you will win if you get three or four. Sometimes you need three, sometimes four and sometimes five. During a game, it gives you more confidence when your team scores two or three before the third period.”
And the Sharks are just thinking offensive in front of Nabokov.
“They are playing good defense and that is creating more offense,” said Nabokov.
The United States is expected to announce their Olympic roster on Monday with every other nation announcing their team this week as well.
Wilson, who has coached the United States to their best international finish ever involving professionals (the gold medal at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey) and in the 1998 Olympics, will be watching tonight.
“It will be interesting to see who they choose for the team,” said Wilson. “Peter Loviolette is a good man and a really good coach. I hope he and the U.S. do well.”
One player who could possibly help Team USA from Team Teal would be Tom Preissing, the blueliner who leads San Jose in plus/minus and who has stepped up since the trade of Brad Stuart.
“I think Tom Preissing should be on their list,” said Wilson. “Sometimes you can be too far under the radar out here. You’ve got to outplay some pretty good people already on their list.”
As for other Olympic hopefuls, Joe Thornton
is a virtual lock for Canada and Marcel Goc and Christian Ehrhoff are givens for Germany.
“Patty (Marleau) and Scott Hannan are still in the mix,” said Wilson
HIGH DEF NOTE
The FSN Bay Area Sharks game January 30 at Dallas will not be in high definition as originally scheduled, however, FSN Bay Area has added the February 2 game with Minnesota to the high def schedule.
The Sharks will host Anaheim Tuesday night at HP Pavilion for a 7:30 faceoff. Tickets are still available at www.ticketmaster.com or the HP Pavilion Ticket Office. The came can be seen on FSN Bay Area and heard on 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.