Back on Oct. 29, Devin Setoguchi officially introduced himself to the National Hockey League with a two-goal Sharks debut in a 3-2 victory in Dallas. The former first round pick tabbed the game-winner and this morning stepped back onto the American Airlines Arena ice for the second time since his NHL debut.
While far from being a seasoned veteran, Setoguchi doesn’t feel the jitters as he did that first contest.
“I was nervous,” said Setoguchi. “I don’t know anyone who wasn’t nervous their first game. Now I just treat every game the same and prepare the same way.”
Dallas’ home building though will always hold a unique place in Setoguchi’s heart.
“I was able to score two goals in this rink and we won, so that will always be special,” said Setoguchi. “It’s a good feeling coming into this rink.”
Setoguchi is still making adjustments to the NHL every night, as all rookies do. In junior, his speed and abilities allowed him much more freedom, but everyone in the NHL is fast and skilled.
“You have to be prepared,” said Setoguchi. “Before games, you focus on not having any mental lapses. Any thing up here can cost you a goal against.”
Not that Setoguchi will quit worrying about scoring goals. He is just quickly becoming a more well-rounded player.
Entering tonight, Dallas holds a four-point advantage on the Sharks in the Pacific Division race, but has also played three more games. Team Teal is also starting to heat up, taking five of the last possible six points.
“We want to win the division and they are four points up,” said Setoguchi. “We’ve won twice here and want to win again. We have to keep things going.”
If things go ideally, the Sharks could be in first place when they return to HP Pavilion Saturday night against Buffalo.