Since their game Tuesday night in Colorado, the Sharks have had arguable the three most productive days of their young season thus far. On Wednesday, they received a much needed and well deserved day off after having played eight out of their last 11 games on the road.
The past two days, however, it’s been back to business. But instead of their usual 45 minute to one hour practices, the Sharks stayed on the ice double that time on Thursday and Friday in hopes of actually putting practice strategies in place rather than just talking about them.
“We got a lot of stuff done,” said Sharks Coach Ron Wilson. “We competed, took the puck to the net and had good talks about scoring and doing things the right way around the net without taking any short cuts. It’s nice to be able to practice that stuff instead of just talking about it.”
Their strenuous road schedule has been among the toughest in the League. Now Team Teal looks forward to getting back on the winning track. With guidance from their coaches, the Sharks have been working to make minor adjustments from errors that have cost them during their first 16 games.
“There’s been some defensive lapses that we’ve tried to address in the last couple days of practice,” said center Alyn McCauley. “If we perform the way we plan and practice to, there should be no real worries. Our team has been a team that has paid attention to the little things and little details that can make a big difference in games. We’ve let those slip, for whatever reason, in the last couple games. We have to do a lot of things that we have been doing and keep creating a lot of chances offensively.”
A bright spot on the practice rink this week has been the return of goaltender Evgeni Nabokov. Nabokov, who hasn’t played since Oct. 21 after injuring his upper body, is prepared to play tomorrow night.
“It’ll be the coach’s decision, but it feels pretty good,” said Nabokov.
Wilson looks forward to the next couple weeks in the schedule, as the Sharks will play at home three times before heading to Edmonton on Nov. 21.
“For the next couple of weeks we’re going to have enough time to get some quality practices in and make some more adjustments,” said Wilson. “You can’t have good practice habits if you don’t have enough time to practice. By us have these two days here, three days there and two days here in the next 10 days, it’s going to be good for our team. We can hammer some of this stuff home.”
INJURY UPDATES - Scott Thornton was thought to be ready to return Saturday night against Dallas, but has had some minor setbacks. The left winger has missed the four games because of a groin injury. - Vesa Toskala re-injured his groin at Colorado Tuesday night. He is expected to be out for at least a week. Nolan Schaefer will continue to dress for the Sharks.
NEXT GAME Every fan attending Saturday’s game against the Dallas Stars will receive a Sharks Rally towel, courtesy of Verizon Super Pages. Game time is at 7:30 p.m. For those that can’t attend, the game will be broadcast on FSN-HD, on the Sharks Radio Network and sjsharks.com.