Sharks Notes: Pavelski surging; Candid J.R.


Sharks Notes: Pavelski surging; Candid J.R.

Joe Pavelski is hitting his stride. Unfortunately, it’s in the Kontinental Hockey League.

The Sharks forward, currently playing for Dinamo Minsk, has a seven-game point streak with four goals and five assists over that span. In his first eight games, Pavelski managed just one assist and was sidelined briefly with a minor leg injury.

Dinamo Minsk is currently in 10th place in the 14-team Western Conference.

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Former Sharks forward and NBC analyst Jeremy Roenick is again urging the players to ink a new collective bargaining agreement as quickly as possible, and openly questioned NHLPA head Donald Fehr’s tactics and intentions in an interview over the weekend.

Speaking with’s Josh Rimer on Saturday, Roenick was his usual candid self in regards to the ongoing lockout.

A few snippets…

On the deal that was offered by NHL last week: "I'm a player's guy, and I'll always be a player's guy, but I think the deal that's on the table is worth signing and playing."

"The players have given a lot, don't get me wrong. But now, it's time to sign a deal. Donald Fehr should be telling players right now to sign a deal."

More on Fehr: "From what I've seen in the last few days how talks have been going, Fehr better start representing the players more responsibly."

On the owners’ offer of a five-year cap on contracts: “Five-year contracts are more than good for sports. I think longer contracts are bad for the owners. I think it’s bad for the cap. That’s a nice lengthy contract, where guys can make good money and get good security. I have never been a fan of long contracts.”

On the state of the game: “Hockey is getting destroyed right now. It goes even further than the players and the owners, it goes to the fans, it goes to the people that work at the arenas. People are losing their jobs.”

The full interview can be found here.

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Joe Thornton’s good friend Rick Nash has deserted him in Davos.

Nash, a teammate of Thornton’s in Switzerland, recently returned to New York to get treatment on what appears to be a minor groin injury.

“It’s purely precautionary, but we’re taking the ‘Better safe than sorry’ approach,” Joe Resnick, Nash’s agent, told the New York Post. “There’s nothing for anyone to be alarmed about.”

The Columbus Blue Jackets dealt Nash, a good friend of Thornton and whose name was frequently mentioned as a potential trade target for San Jose at last year’s deadline and again this summer, to the Rangers in the offseason.

In 17 games with Davos, Nash, who could return if the NHL cancels its season, has 12 goals and six assists for 18 points.

Thornton, meanwhile, has a very Thornton-esque seven goals and 22 assists for 29 points in 27 games, tying him for the team lead in scoring (eighth in league scoring).

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Adam Burish seemed genuinely frustrated back on September 21, when he was in the Bay Area practicing with his new team at Sharks Ice.

“I haven’t gotten to see the team dynamic, see how guys are together, see how guys interact. That’s kind of tough for me,” he said nearly three months ago.

Burish also said he was exploring his options overseas at the time, so that he could “stay sharp” in the event of a lengthy lockout. Instead, he’s been a part of a couple of charity games, the latest coming over the weekend in Windsor, Ontario. Burish was a part of the losing “Black Team,” and scored two goals in an All-Star Game-type final score of 17-11.

The crowd at the WFCU Center, a short drive from Detroit, was estimated at 4,500 people. Other participants included 11 Red Wings as well as former Sharks Jamal Mayers and Kyle Wellwood.

Burish signed a four-year, $7.4 million contract with the Sharks on July 1.

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The Worcester Sharks moved into sole possession of first place following another come-from-behind victory on Sunday night.

Tim Kennedy and Brodie Reid scored third period goals in a 3-2 road win over the Manchester Monarchs, the Kings’ AHL affiliate. Worcester has a league-leading five wins when trailing after two periods.

Worcester, 12-8-1-2, has won seven of its last eight road games. The Sharks continue to be led by Kennedy, who has 26 points (12g, 14a) in 23 games. He’s tied for third in the league in scoring, behind Edmonton Oilers/Oklahoma City Barons Justin Schultz (32 points) and Jordan Eberle (30 points), and tied with Philadelphia Flyers/Adirondack Phantoms’ forward Brayden Schenn.

One more prospect note: Goaltender J.P. Anderson, signed as a free agent by the Sharks on Sep. 21, 2010, recorded his 115th Ontario Hockey League win on Sunday to set a new league record for victories.

Anderson, a 5-11, 190-pounder, currently plays for the Sarnia Sting, where he’s spent the past two seasons after four years with the Mississagua Majors.

"We are proud to congratulate J.P. on achieving this milestone," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said of the 20-year-old. "He has made great progress throughout his OHL career and we look forward to watching him continue to develop with Sarnia Head Coach and General Manager Jacques Beaulieu."

Sharks shuffle up their lines ahead of homestand

Sharks shuffle up their lines ahead of homestand

SAN JOSE – When the Sharks signed free agent forward Mikkel Boedker in the summer, head coach Pete DeBoer immediately pictured him on a line with Logan Couture and Joonas Donskoi, saying a couple weeks ago that it looked good when he wrote it down “on a napkin.”

DeBoer apparently went through a few more napkins on the flight home from Detroit on Sunday, a 3-0 shutout loss to the Red Wings on Saturday surely on his mind.

The Sharks resumed practice on Monday with four entirely new lines, including Boedker up with the Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski. Couture centered Donskoi and Joel Ward, while Tomas Hertl was in the middle of the third line with Patrick Marleau and Matt Nieto. Chris Tierney skated as fourth line center with the remaining wingers.

“It’s not a panic situation or anything, I think you’re always looking for ways to get the most out of your group,” DeBoer said. “Our four-line game hasn’t been where I want it to be.”

Getting more out of Boedker is apparently part of the motivation for shuffling things up, as the newcomer has just four shots on goal through six games, with one point (a goal against Columbus on Oct. 15).

Playing with Thornton and Pavelski could help in that regard, just as it helped players such as Hertl last season.

“He’s got to shoot the puck more…and he knows that,” DeBoer said of Boedker. “I’m not concerned about him, but the nice thing about playing with those two guys is they push you to go to the areas where you have to score. Hopefully that gets him going.”

Boedker said: “It’s two of the best [players] in the league, so it’s going to be a lot of fun. Just got to listen and do the things they expect me to do, and make sure that I do them to the highest level.”

The line changes spreads out the Sharks’ speed a little more evenly among their scoring lines. They looked slow in losses to Detroit and the Rangers, especially.

“[Boedker] can bring some things to that line that Tomas maybe doesn’t,” DeBoer said. “Tomas has a great skill set, but this guy can back people off with his speed.”

Hertl will skate at center for the first time since early last January, although he saw plenty of time there in training camp when Thornton and Couture were competing in the World Cup. Last season, he had 15 points (4g, 11a) in 37 games before moving to the Thornton line full time on Jan. 9, where he took off.

The 22-year-old has three points (2g, 1a) in six games this season as a left wing.

“I think Hertl can play anywhere,” DeBoer said. “His game is at that point in his career and he’s a good enough player now that not only can he play anywhere, but I think he can make other people better around him.”

While the line changes will give the Sharks a new look on paper, Couture believes the bigger issue with the team – going back to the third period of Thursday’s 3-2 loss in Pittsburgh – is its compete level. 

“It’s compete and battle and playing the right way that we need to worry about,” he said. “We didn’t play well in Detroit, there’s no way around that. … We just didn’t compete, [and] that’s a frustrating thing, but it’s an easy thing to fix.”

The head coach echoed Couture’s estimation.

DeBoer said: “We have to realize how desperate a team we were last year every night, and the teams that we’re playing are out to hunt us based on our success last year. If we don’t have that desperation level, it’s going to be tough to win.”

The Sharks open a three-game homestand on Tuesday against Anaheim, and host the Blue Jackets and Predators later this week.

Leafs place ex-Sharks LW on waivers, claim ex-Sharks RW

Leafs place ex-Sharks LW on waivers, claim ex-Sharks RW

The Maple Leafs continued their early roster tweaking on Monday, with a pair of moves — veteran winger Milan Michalek was placed on waivers, and the club claimed forward Ben Smith from Colorado.

First up, Michalek.

The 31-year-old — acquired, along with other spare parts, in the Dion Phaneuf-to-Ottawa trade — had appeared in all five games for the Leafs this season, scoring two points while averaging 14:16 TOI per night.

So needless to say, he was a fairly regular contributor.

Today’s transaction is clearly a move to give younger players a bigger opportunity on the team. Michalek was a veteran presence on a club filled with kids, but that apparently wasn’t enough to justify his roster spot any longer.