Islanders hoping to extend Nabokov


Islanders hoping to extend Nabokov

One of the names thats been tossed about as the NHL trade deadline approaches is current Islander and former Shark Evgeni Nabokov. The goaltender has been impressive lately, winning eight of his last 11 starts, while playing for a team that is once again going to miss out on the playoffs.

Chris Botta of the New York Times is reporting that the Islanders are offering Nabokov the option of a one or two-year contract extension to stay with the club, though, so teams that may have been interested (Chicago?) may soon have to cross Nabokovs name off of their list. Nabokov is, at present, set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year.

In seven of his last 11 starts, Nabokov has allowed one goal or less, including a pair of shutouts. In 30 games this season, hes 14-14-0 and is in the top-10 in the NHL in goals-against average (2.24, 10th) and save percentage (.925 - eighth).

The Islanders (25-26-8) are in 12th place in the Eastern Conference, six points out of a playoff spot.

Sharks have fond memories of Joe Louis Arena: 'Tough to see it go'


Sharks have fond memories of Joe Louis Arena: 'Tough to see it go'

DETROIT – When listing the greatest Sharks moments at Joe Louis Arena, now in its final season as home of the Red Wings, none will ever top Jamie Baker’s goal in the 1994 playoffs when San Jose shocked the top seed in seven games in the first round. That score essentially put the Sharks on the NHL map, and kick-started their success as a franchise in the Bay Area.

But some current Sharks also have fond memories of the place, headed into their final game here Saturday night, barring a meeting in the Stanley Cup Final. 

Logan Couture scored his first career goal at Joe Louis Arena on Nov. 5, 2009, slipping a feed from Joe Callahan through Chris Osgood’s five-hole. Patrick Marleau was a part of some vicious playoff meetings between the two organizations before Detroit moved to the Eastern Conference, and scored one of the biggest goals of his career at Joe Louis - an overtime playoff goal in Game 3 of the second round in 2010.

“We played a lot of hard hockey games here, but being able to score an OT winner like that it definitely sticks with you for the rest of your career,” Marleau said.

The Sharks downed the Red Wings in the 2010 playoffs in five games, and again in 2011, a seven-game series in which San Jose nearly blew a three-games-to-none lead.

“There were some huge playoff rivalries, obviously series going back-and-forth. A lot of great hockey has been played here,” Marleau said.

Couture grew up in London, Ontario, about an hour-and-a-half drive from Detroit, and lists Steve Yzerman as one of his hockey idols.

“It’s fun coming back here for me and some other guys that are from the area,” he said. “Obviously, a lot of my friends grew up watching the Red Wings. … It’s one of the buildings that I enjoy playing in, so it’s tough to see it go.”

No one in the Sharks organization, though, has more ties to the Detroit area than head coach Pete DeBoer. The 48-year-old moved to nearby Windsor as a teenager and played for the OHL Spitfires for four years in the late 80’s, and was the head coach of the Detroit Whalers from 1995-97 before they relocated to Plymouth, Michigan.

He recalled being around many of the players and coaches that helped the Red Wings win back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1997 and 1998.

“I was coaching with Paul Maurice, and Scotty Bowman was coaching the Red Wings in their heyday. We would get to practice right after they practiced in the morning,” DeBoer said. “Being around that group and those people, Yzerman and all the Russian players they had at the time, and the coaches. It was just a lot of great, great memories. 

“Sad day, it’s a great building. But, time moves on.”

NHL Gameday: Sharks 'champing at the bit' to play Red Wings

NHL Gameday: Sharks 'champing at the bit' to play Red Wings

Programming note: Sharks-Red Wings coverage starts today at 3:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California


Sharks: 3-2-0, 6 points, 3rd Pacific Division
Red Wings: 3-2-0, 6 points, 5th Atlantic Division


***The Sharks will be trying to rebound from a crushing defeat on Thursday. In a Stanley Cup rematch in Pittsburgh, the Penguins erased 2-0 hole after two periods to beat the Sharks, 3-2, in regulation.

“We know we let one slip away the other night,” Logan Couture said. “That’s the main focus for us right now, get out, have a good first period and try to rebound from that.”

Patrick Marleau said: “Everybody is champing at the bit to get back out there and right that wrong by having a good, strong game.”

***At 2-2 through the first four games of their road trip, the Sharks have a chance conclude it with a winning record. San Jose had the best road record in the NHL last season at 28-10-3.

“Our group understands the importance of a good road record,” Pete DeBoer said. “We’ve got a veteran group that really prepares themselves properly. I don’t know if there’s any secret to it. They take a lot of pride in showing up and playing the right way on the road. We want to continue to do that.”

The Sharks open up a three-game homestand with Anaheim on Tuesday. After tonight, five of their next six games are at SAP Center.

***The Sharks will not make any lineup changes against the Red Wings. Matt Nieto remains in on the fourth line, while Martin Jones will start his fifth game out of six in net.

Detroit beat Nashville at home on Friday night, 5-3, in its “best game of the season” according to Tomas Tatar, via the Detroit Free Press. The Red Wings will likely go with Jimmy Howard after it was Petr Mrazek who got the win against the Predators. Howard is coming off of a brilliant 32-save performance at the Rangers on Wednesday in which he essentially stole the game for the Red Wings.

It could be a good opportunity for the Sharks to get their scuffling power play going, as Detroit gave up three power play goals against to Nashville. San Jose is just 2-for-13 in its last four games on the power play, with one an empty-netter and another on a two-man advantage.


Sharks: Tomas Hertl. The Sharks forward has one goal in each of the last two games, including the opening score against Pittsburgh on Thursday, and brings a three-game point streak (2g, 1a) into Detroit. After a slow start, the Sharks’ top line with Hertl, Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton seems to be heating up.

Red Wings: Thomas Vanek. The 32-year-old forward joined Detroit in the offseason on a one-year deal, and is its leading scorer among forwards with six points (3g, 3a). He’s had some success against the Sharks in his career, too, with six goals (and eight points) in 14 games.


Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Mikkel Boedker – Logan Couture – Joonas Donskoi
Patrick Marleau – Chris Tierney – Joel Ward
Matt Nieto – Tommy Wingels – Melker Karlsson

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko

Martin Jones (confirmed starter)
Aaron Dell

Red Wings
Tomas Tatar – Henrik Zetterberg – Riley Sheahan
Justin Abdelkader – Frans Nielsen – Dylan Larkin
Thomas Vanek – Darren Helm – Gustav Nyquist
Drew Miller – Luke Glendening – Steve Ott

Dan DeKeyser – Mike Green
Jonathan Ericsson – Alexey Marchenko
Brendan Smith – Ryan Sproul

Jimmy Howard (expected starter)
Petr Mrazek


Sharks: None.

Red Wings: Niklas Kronwall (knee), Tomas Jurco (back), Johan Franzen (concussion) and Joe Vitale (concussion) are out.


“I thought we played a pretty solid game (in Pittsburgh) for most of the game. Obviously we had a couple breakdowns, but I liked our effort and the way we controlled the game for most of it. We’ve just got to put together a full 60, and we’ll be fine.” – Chris Tierney