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San Jose Getting Healthy

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks
The Sharks are excited to have Ryane Clowe returning to lineup Wednesday as it will make San Jose about as healthy as it’s been almost all year. Even though Scott Nichol is out due to a suspension, he is at least available to practice and that leaves Torrey Mitchell as the sole skater not able to play at the moment.


Individually, Clowe is excited to see game action again.

“I’ll be back tomorrow,” Clowe confirmed. “I skated the last couple of days and it felt good. It sucks watching. The team has been on a nice run.”

There is clearly a morale boost when a do it all player like Clowe puts the jersey back on. A man who can not only score, but will stick up for his teammates, is always a welcome site.

“Clowe will be back in the lineup, he’s worked hard to recover from his injury and it will be a big boost for our team,” Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan stated.

The return of the rugged forward means jostling for time up front will be intense. John McCarthy has been sent to Worcester, but that does not mean the challenge for ice time is any easier. All 14 forwards listed on the roster have strong NHL experience. McLellan will play the best possible players down the stretch to improve the Sharks playoff standing and in the short term, extend the club’s four-game winning streak. Nothing will be given, it will be earned.

“I don’t want us to let up in any of the areas we’ve played well in over the last little bit because we’re getting an injured player back,” McLellan noted. “We have to push through to the break. L.A. has gone through the same scenario and led themselves out and only one can go into the break as a winner.”

McLellan knows the fight for game time, whether it’s who dresses or not, or who gets the play on the top line and on the power play, is the ultimate motivator.

“Health is depth in the league right now and if you are healthy, you are a bit deeper,” McLellan said. “You have the ability to take players in and out of the lineup, there is a little more of a threat there as far as ice time goes. The addition of two forwards last week makes it very competitive.”

“Competition for ice time and for who you play with,” Clowe stated. “The last couple days were intense and guys were fighting for that ice time and it’s a positive thing.”

Playing now simply may not be a guarantee that a skater is in the same position the next week. Whether it a coach's call, or an injury, the Sharks will likely use all available bodies at some point.

“We’ve got a lot of guys with experience and we’re going to need that down the stretch,” Clowe said. “Knock on wood nobody gets injured, but you know how that goes,” Clowe said.


ALL-STAR
Both Dan Boyle and Logan Couture are taking their families to North Carolina for the All-Star weekend.

“My parents and their friends are going to make it out,” Couture said. “They are getting there on Friday so it will be good to spend some time with them. They are going to have a blast. They are looking forward to it and so am I.”

It is the ultimate reward for parents who sacrificed over the years with early morning practices and tying skates for five-year-olds.

“Both of them, they did a lot for me and my brother,” Couture said. “I definitely would not be here without them and appreciate what they did. Early morning my dad would take me before work and bring me back. My mom, some nights we would play a couple of hours away and she would drive me. The game would be at seven and the game ended and we would be back at 10:30. That was her night and she would wake up the next morning and go to school (as a teacher). She would give up a lot of her free time and so did my dad.”

RIVALRY
No question Joe Pavelski is riding high with his beloved Green Bay Packers making the Super Bowl. However, he will have one antagonist in the room and it surprisingly is Derek Joslin.

“My dad is a huge Steelers fan and his side of the family is from Pittsburgh,” Joslin said. “That’s how they became Steelers fans. My dad growing up was a die-hard, so it was the only team I watched.”

STALOCK
Alex Stalock was definitely enjoying his day in San Jose, but he is also thinking of his teammates in Worcester playing without their number one netminder.

“We had games down in Worcester and we are in the playoff race,” Stalock said. “We have another two games before our All-Star break in Worcester, so I need to get back and help win those games.”

That being said, the NHL is not something Stalock is about to pass up.

“It’s nice to go through it for a few days and see what it’s like,” Stalock stated.

Stalock was make aware that three different goalies have backed up during the current four-game winning streak.

“You don’t want to screw that up, just get out of the way,” Stalock laughed.

WORCESTER
The Worcester Sharks set a franchise record with 9,803 fans at the DCU Center Saturday night on Worcester IceCats Night.

Also, Justin Braun has been named to the AHL All-Star Game, with the festivities set for Jan. 30-31.

NEXT GAME
San Jose will visit L.A. Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. and the game will be on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.


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