For two weeks, Joe Pavelski
played on the world’s stage. As a member of Team USA’s Olympic Hockey Team, his face was beamed into television sets across the globe as he helped the Americans overturn a Canadian powerhouse on ‘Super Sunday’ and nearly snatched the gold medal away from the host country in their nation’s game.
So how does a player’s life change after exposure like that? According Pavelski, it’s a bit more eventful.
“It’s been busy,” said Pavelski about his life following the Olympic Games. “I’ve been doing a lot more interviews and everyone wants to see the medal. It brings a lot of joy to a lot of people and it’s something that ties us all back together.”
But his everyday life is pretty much the same. Sharks fans recognize him when he goes grocery shopping, but he doesn’t get any more attention now than he did before Vancouver.
And that seems to be OK for the 25-year-old. Talk to Pavelski for five minutes and his straight-forward, hard-working demeanor comes directly through his words. Maybe that’s derived from his Midwestern upbringing in Plover, Wisconsin. Or maybe from the success he had winning a National Championship with the University of Wisconsin in 2006.
Whatever it is, Pavelski seems to be the perfect mold for the role he fills on the Sharks.
“He’s a reliable, trusted teammate,” said Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan about his second line centerman. “He plays in every situation; power play, penalty kill. He takes important faceoffs for the team and he’s a key player.”
According to McLellan, Pavelski is exactly what he needs to be: the leader of San Jose’s secondary scoring. The 5-foot-11, 190 pound center has 15 points (8-7=15) in his last 16 games and ranks third on the team in goals (18). He ranks third on the Sharks with a 60.1 faceoff percentage.
It brings a lot of joy to a lot of people and it’s something that ties us all back together. - Pavelski on people's fascination with his medal
Pavelski filled a similar role during the Olympics. He ranked second on Team USA and third overall in faceoff percentage (68.12%) while notching three assists and a +2 plus/minus rating over six games. Pavelski, the 205th overall pick in the 2006 NHL Draft performed better in the faceoff circle than fellow Shark and 1997 First Overall Pick Joe Thornton
(62.2%) and 2005 First Overall Pick Sidney Crosby (59.32%).
As the sons of the “Miracle” generation, Pavelski and Team USA believed they could win gold and it’s still frustrating to Pavelski that they didn’t. But ‘Little Joe’ understands that this experience was a “once in a lifetime kind of thing” and he’ll take that knowledge into this year’s postseason.
“The playoffs are do-or-die and that’s what this was,” explained Pavelski. “The nerves were there. The excitement was there. I was trying to use those nerves and settle them at the same time. It’s such a high-stakes thing that just knowing you‘ve been through it gives you confidence for the next thing you need to do.”
The Sharks Foundation will hold the St. Patrick’s Day Mystery Puck Fundraiser at the home games on Thursday, March 11 vs. Nashville and Saturday, March 13 vs. Florida. At each event, a limited number of specially designed St. Patrick’s Day themed pucks will be sold on the Concourse Level at both the North and South Entrances.
Every puck is guaranteed to be signed by a player and will be individually wrapped so the player’s identity remains a surprise until after purchase. During each sale a select number of pucks will be labeled “WINNER” and the lucky fans who select these pucks will win additional prizes.
Because of the popularity of this fundraiser, fans are encouraged to arrive early, as most have sold out well before the start of the game. Pucks are just $20 each and net proceeds will benefit this season’s Sharks Foundation Gran Recipients and community programming.
Place a deposit for Season Tickets or a SharksPak next year and get Playoff Tickets this year. Click here for details
The Sharks will continue their five-game homestand on Thursday when they play hosts to the Nashville Predators at 7:30 PM at HP Pavilion. The game will be broadcast on CSN-California in HD and 98.5 KFOX FM.