Defending champs finding their game


Defending champs finding their game

Programming note: Bruins-Sharks coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live, and the puck drops at HP Pavilion at 7:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California

SAN JOSE Its the last game the Sharks will play against an Eastern Conference team this season, and its not going to be easy.

The Boston Bruins (42-27-3, 87 points) are the defending Stanley Cup champions, and based on their play in the last two games, its easy to see why. Sure, the Bruins went through a two-month stretch where wins were hard to come by, but the highly skilled, experienced, and oftentimes downright nasty team has looked lately like its ready to challenge for another title.

On Saturday, the Bruins went into Phillys Wells Fargo Center and came away with a 3-2 shootout victory against another surging club that is among the NHLs best. Then on Monday, Boston demolished a fading Toronto team 8-0 that, despite a brutal second half, is still a division rival.

After having a good game in Philly, and regardless of the score in Toronto, just to see us competing hard and doing the little things right, thats what makes us happy. We like winning more than losing, leading scorer Tyler Seguin said after the Bruins morning skate at HP Pavilion.

Whats been the difference?

Playing more Bruins style hockey. Playing with a chip on our shoulder, going out and competing and winning battles, Seguin said.

Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, who has been reunited with Zdeno Chara on defense for the last two games, doesnt want the Bruins entering tonights game at The Tank with inflated heads after the Maple Leafs game.

You dont want to go in too high. You want to be focused and smart about where you put pucks, you want to battle hard and skate hard, and once we do that we seem to be fine, usually, Seidenberg said. Thats the same game plan for tonight, and hopefully we can put that on the ice.

Boston expects the 10th-place Sharks (36-27-10, 82 points) to be a desperate team, but the Bruins are playing to hold on to the second seed in the Eastern Conference. They lead the Ottawa Senators by just three points in the Northeast Division, although they do have two games in hand.

Seidenberg said: San Jose is a very desperate team right now looking to get in the playoffs. We are just as desperate trying to stay in the second spot, trying to keep the distance to Ottawa. Its a big game for both teams.

Sharks, Robinson parting ways after five seasons

Sharks, Robinson parting ways after five seasons

After five seasons with the Sharks, Larry Robinson is leaving the organization.

Robinson, 65, spent the last three seasons as the club's director of player development. He served as an associate coach from 2012-14.

TSN in Montreal and the Montreal Gazette originally reported the news. The Sharks confirmed to NBC Sports California that Robinson's contract will be expiring.

According to the Gazette

Robinson’s contract with the Sharks expires on July 1, but agent Donnie Cape said Thursday that San Jose general manager Doug Wilson has given him permission to speak with other teams. Robinson lives in Bradenton, Fla., and the long travel distance to San Jose is one of big the reasons he’s looking for a new team to work for.

Robinson seemed to ponder retirement in 2014, but signed a three-year extension to remain in the Sharks' front office. He worked mostly from his home in Florida the past two seasons, making occasional trips to San Jose, including during training camp.

In the summer of 2015, Robinson underwent surgery for skin cancer.

Recognized as one of the best defensemen in NHL history, Robinson won six Stanley Cup championships with the Montreal Canadiens as a player, and holds the NHL record for playing 20 straight seasons in the playoffs. A 10-time All-Star and two-time Norris Trophy winner, Robinson was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1995.

Robinson was the head coach of the Los Angeles Kings from 1995-99, and the New Jersey Devils from 1999-2002 and again in 2005-06. He led the Devils to the Stanley Cup in 2000. Robinson has nine Stanley Cup rings as a player and coach.

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The Sharks did not renew the contract of pro scout Jason Rowe, who had been with the organization for the past nine seasons. Rowe focused on eastern NHL and AHL teams.

Sharks ink pair of European prospects

Sharks ink pair of European prospects

The Sharks officially announced the signing of defenseman Radim Simek to a one-year contract on Tuesday, as well as Swedish forward Filip Sandberg to a two-year contract.

Simek’s deal was reported on Monday and confirmed by NBC Sports California. The contract is valued at $925,000 for the 2017-18 season, a source confirmed. The 24-year-old defenseman spent the past five seasons in the Czech league, posting 24 points (11g, 13a) and 30 penalty minutes with a plus-18 rating last season. A left-handed shot, he is listed at five-foot-11 and 196 pounds on the IIHL website.

In 211 career games in the Czech league, he posted 91 points (37g, 54a) and a plus-51 rating.

"Radim is a quick transition defenseman who drives the play offensively and plays with a physical edge," general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. "We like his offensive instincts especially on special teams and think his game will translate well in North America."

Sandberg, 22, has 71 points (25g, 46a) in 204 career games in the Swedish league. Last season, he posted 25 points (8g, 17a) and a plus-17 rating in 52 games.

Sandberg is set to make $742,500 in 2017-18 and $792,500 in 2018-19, a source confirmed.

The five-foot-nine, 180-pound Stockholm native also competed in the World Jr. Championships in 2013 and 2014, helping Sweden win silver both years.

"Filip is a very creative player who sees the ice well and can create offense in limited space," Wilson said. "He plays a high-pressure, puck-pursuit game and his battle level is something we have been impressed with, especially against older players. We are excited for him to join our organization."

The contracts for Simek and Forsberg are two-way deals, allowing them to play for the AHL Barracuda next season.