The NHL All-Star break was two weeks ago but for several of the San Jose Sharks key players it actually starts now. Due to an unusual quirk in the schedule, the Sharks don't play again until Feb. 13 in St. Louis. That means the team will have a break of five consecutive days without a game. That's exactly the same break they got two weeks ago, except not everyone got the break.
, Patrick Marleau
and Jonathan Cheechoo all represented the Sharks in the All-Star game in Dallas while Matt Carle took part in the YoungStars game. I'm not suggesting that any of these events were as physically taxing as a regular season game would be, but there was still plenty to do.
Especially for Joe Thornton
, who was led around from photo shoot to public appearances like a prize pony. Throw in the fact that most players who go to the All-Star game also invite along family and friends and it’s an exhausting couple of days, hardly a rest.
Well now some of the Sharks "top dogs" will get their rest. Head Coach Ron Wilson will hold a few practices between now and next Tuesday, but it will be a great chance for everyone to re-fuel. Some would argue that the team might be better off building on the momentum of Wednesday’s win at Anaheim and play again in a few days. But with Kyle McLaren's knee bothering him again and with Evgeni Nabokov, Mark Smith and Joe Pavelski
still on the mend, the timing for a five-day break is perfect.
When the Sharks get back from their seven-game road trip to host the Ducks again on February 26 at HP Pavilion there will only be 20 games left in the regular season. The Sharks should be energized and healthy as they make their push toward the playoffs.
For Seagate Technology’s “In the Crease,” I’m Randy Hahn.