It looks like the banged up Sharks will start seeing the gradual return of players to the lineup. Torrey Mitchell
, Joe Pavelski
and John McCarthy have been on the shelf for a bit now, but are all skating to a degree.
Mitchell looks to be the first one back today against Buffalo and he is ready for his return.
“He’ll play tonight,” Head Coach Todd McLellan said. “I think he’s got to bring his game, which is speed and some tenacity on the puck. He’ll be a penalty killer, play in the middle and win faceoffs. If we expect any more or less from him, it would be an error on our behalf. He’s supposed to do what he’s supposed to do and do it to a high level.”
“I’m ready to go,” Mitchell said. “I don’t ever want to miss a game again, but a week is nothing. You just don’t like being away from it. I want to be on the ice.”
The week away from games pales in comparison to Mitchell’s extended injury absences in the past.
“For me this wasn’t a serious injury and I knew I’d be back within a week,” Mitchell said. “A lot different mindset than what I went through before. You can just keep your mind focused on hockey because you know you are going to be back soon.”
Mitchell said there were some things to be gained from watching games from above.
“You can. It always looks easier from up top,” Mitchell said. “You can see plays that don’t happen and you can learn that way. It’s definitely betting learning on the ice with the boys.”
was recently named one of the 50 greatest hockey players in the history of ECAC hockey. Murray skated in the conference while playing for Cornell.
“I didn’t know that,” Murray said. “It’s a time that I really value. I had a great time there and loved playing hockey there.”
For Murray, selecting Cornell in the ECAC was the perfect choice for the future All-American.
“The thing that really got me is when I went and watched a game there was how the fans were into it,” Murray said. “There was a combination of a lot of other things. I clicked pretty well with the head coach right away and I don’t regret the decision at all.”
Antero Niittymaki was the first man off the ice at the morning skate, the tell tale sign for who will be the starting netminder.
Buffalo has former San Jose players Mike Grier and Craig Rivet on the roster.
Also, Benn Ferriero
will play against former Boston College teammate Nathan Gerbe.
The Sharks Foundation will host a Share The Warmth Drive Jan. 6 (vs. Buffalo) to support Sacred Heart Community Services (SHCS).
Sharks fans can assist by dropping off new or gently used blankets and jackets or by making monetary donations as they enter the North or South Entrances of HP Pavilion at San Jose.
All donors will receive a raffle ticket for a drawing to be held that night, with prizes including autographed Sharks items. Raffle winners will be announced on the Video Board during the first intermission and must claim their prize at the Sharks Foundation booth (located outside Section 124) before the end of the second intermission.
just won the NHL’s rookie of the month award. His goal scoring has cooled off a bit, but McLellan says Couture is still playing a great game and getting chances.
“The last thing we want to do is tinker with Logan Couture
,” McLellan said. “If I see his body language diminish, then I’ll pull up the chances he’s created and that he’s been involved in and that will perk him up quickly. Things are going well for him, they’re just not going in.”
Tickets for the Thursday Buffalo game are available at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office or at www.ticketmaster.com. The contest will be on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and www.sjsharks.com.