With the Trade Deadline over, it's a good feeling to still be a Shark. It was definitely a relief to get passed that and know I wasn't going to be traded. Now I can focus on moving forward on the next stretch here in San Jose.
Doug Wilson actually pulled me aside a couple of days before the deadline and said, "You're our guy here and we don't want you to be worrying about that." I thought that was a really classy move from him - to take that pressure off and not leave me wondering about it. It was a relief to know early so I could focus on the next game against Vancouver.
It's exciting to know I'll be getting a lot more playing time too. We have a busy month ahead of us. We have to get Jonsey rested here for playoffs and we're facing a lot of good teams coming up so it'll be fun to get in and play and hopefully we can keep going here. We've been playing good hockey lately. I'm really excited to see what we can do down the stretch.
The last game I started in Winnipeg was a little crazy. Things got interesting and we decided to give them a goal with seven seconds left. It was huge to finally see Jumbo get that 1,000th assist. It's pretty incredible. There's not much else you can say about that. I mean what… he's the 13th guy in the NHL to do that?! That's unbelievable. They've been trying to give it to him for a while now on those empty netters the past few games. I'm really glad he finally got it. It's probably a relief for him as well. I thought we played a really good game all around as well. That was playoff hockey. It got me excited for the rest of the stretch and playoffs. We're going to have to play like that the rest of the way out to stay alive.
The team was really excited for him. When we got to the airport after the game coach gave a small speech congratulating Jumbo on the big feat and we all gave a round of applause. Jumbo is one of those guys who enjoys all the love from the boys. He's pretty humble most of the time but when you're as good as he is sometimes you don't have to be.
In other exciting news, I got a new mask! It was a spur of the moment thing. The guy who painted it had been asking me for a little while to do one so I asked Mikey (Mike Aldrich- equipment manager) and he said, "Alright let's try him out." I got the helmet back right away from the artist. I wasn't expecting to get it that fast! I think he did a really good job! It's kind of the same idea I had on my last one's but he mixed it up a little bit with his own touches. I gave him the idea I wanted and he whipped up a rough sketch then ran it passed me - told him yes to this, no to that. I think they still have to run it by the league so they can approve what's on it, but yeah, I love it.
I wore the mask during warm ups against the Leafs the same night I got it. Then I wore it when I started against Vancouver and I've been wearing it ever since! The scarecrow theme is something I started in college and kept going along with it. You can see the Sharks ripping through the scarecrow part but my favorite part is the back. Delicious isn't my official nickname around here but it's the one I'm going with!
Here are some pictures of my new mask. Hope you guys like it!