April 2, 2011SHARKS PAGE SHARKS VIDEOPREVIEW: ANAHEIM vs. SHARKS
The Sharks held an optional skate Saturday morning, which actually ended around 10:25 a.m. Ironically, these practices arent even supposed to officially start until 10:30 a.m. Go figure!
Antti Niemi will make his 33rd consecutive start, although head coach Todd McLellan said that getting backup Antero Niittymaki some time before the end of the season would be important. McLellan said he recognized that it would be difficult to do, given that the main goal is still to rack up as many points as possible right now.
Scott Nichol and Kent Huskins are definitely out for the 7:30 p.m. game with Anaheim with upper body injuries. Justin Braun was one of the last players on the ice, along with those two, so its assumed he will be a scratch, as well.
There are five more games left in the schedule, and now that the Sharks have clinched a playoff berth, there is the obvious question of whats next?
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The majority of players I spoke with this morning noted the importance of keeping the same hunger and approach the team had during its first 77 games, through the remaining five. They value the important run the team has had since mid-January, and are very protective to keep it alive.
Ironically all of the remaining opponents (Anaheim, Los Angeles, and Phoenix) are all teams the Sharks could face in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Some, like Joe Pavelski, said it will be important to set a certain tone with these teams in the final few games. McLellan said there are really no secrets between divisional teams at this late point in the season.
Topics we will cover tonight on SportsNet Central and Sharks Pregame Live:
- What is the best way for the Sharks to approach the final five games of the season? Players give a look into their mindset.
- How is Anaheim different from the last time these two teams met?
- What do the Sharks think of their final three opponents, and how the tight division has made them a better team this year.