The 2012-13 training camp for the San Jose Sharks got underway on Sunday afternoon at Sharks Ice at San Jose. Twenty-eight players have reported for a condensed schedule in which coaches and players must ready themselves for the start of the season in just seven days. In such a short period of time, very little wasted time can be afforded.
“We covered a lot today and it’s just about taking it all in at a fast pace,” said Sharks forward Joe Pavelski. “A lot of it’s very similar to what we’ve done in the past. It’s just getting everyone up to speed and everyone in to game shape because it’s going to be starting here quick.”
Of the 28 players in for the quick training camp, most have played together in San Jose in years past. There is some speculation that a familiarity amongst the core group of players will bode well for the Sharks as they prepare in the limited time frame.
“The great thing about having the group that we have is that a lot of them have been here for a number of years,” said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan. “There’s some familiarity to what we’re trying to do as a team. The terms and systems that we play haven’t changed that much. We were able to review two parts of our game today already and introduce a new type of penalty kill for this year. We got a lot done in day one, but we’re going to have to use every minute, be very efficient and be ready to go when it starts.”
It’s going to feel like an even quicker experience for some of the players on the roster who are spending their first training camp with the Sharks. Newly signed forward Adam Burish is nonetheless eager, facing the challenge.
“I hope I can add a piece to this, because this team is an elite club in the NHL,” said Burish. “I’m fortunate to be a part of it and I’m hoping that I can add another piece to it… I want to go out there, I want to play reckless. I want to play mean. I want to be in guys faces. I want to be confrontational. Hopefully some of that energy can be contagious to my teammates too.”
One thing that was not confrontational on Sunday was a warm reception from hundreds of Sharks fans who showed up to watch the first official practice of the season. After the players took the ice to the cheers of the fans, the players gathered at center ice and saluted the faithful crowd, a standard exchange of appreciation that both sides were pleased to once again experience.
“It was great,” Sharks captain Joe Thornton described. “I’ve been saying for years that we’ve got the best fans in sports. For them to give us a nice applause there was nice. We had big smiles on our faces. We’re just happy to be back. Like I said, we’ve got the best fans in sports here."