March 31, 2010SHARKS PAGE SHARKS VIDEO
It was a mandatory practice for the Sharks this morning, and it was a little longer than normal, most likely since the team has not played a game in four days.Here are the line combinations as they rushed in practice:
Setoguchi Thornton Marleau
Heatley Couture Clowe
Wellwood Pavelski Mitchell
Mayers Desjardins Eager
Antti Niemi will make his 32nd consecutive start in net; the franchise record stands at 43 by Evgeni Nabokov.The Sharks will clinch a playoff berth tonight with a regulation win over Dallas.Scott Nichol practiced with the team, but will not be available in tonights contest. Todd McLellan says he is hopeful Nichol will return by the end of the season, but most of that depends on "mother nature." Kent Huskins skated separately from the team, after practice. McLellan said Nichol is closer to returning than Huskins is.
A lot of talk around the matchup with Dallas, especially considering the last two times these teams have met. The Stars visited San Jose March 5, in a game where Steve Ott played antagonist to many of the Shark players. That was a contest in which Jason Demers went to take a swing at Ott, but missed, and struck the linesman.The most recent meeting came in Dallas. In that game, Dany Heatley took a penalty, and served a two-game suspension for elbowing Ott. Heatley said it was in the chest, but the league felt it was in the head. Regardless, you can see the bad blood between these two teams. Some of the Shark players told me this morning that its a clean slate, but others said they wouldnt be surprised to see some carryover.Topics we will cover tonight on Sharks Pregame Live:- How do the Sharks best treat an antagonist like Steve Ott? And will the contest be chippy right from the start?- What players are saying about the potential to clinch a playoff berth tonight.