Early returns are strong on Havlat

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Early returns are strong on Havlat

Fresh off of their second win of the young season, the Sharks will look to build off of a 4-3 shootout victory over the Devils last night when they meet the defending Stanley Cup champs in Boston tonight.

Antti Niemi is scheduled to make his third straight start in net, and is expected to be opposed by Bostons Tim Thomas.
Havlat debut a success: Martin Havlat made his long awaited Sharks debut on Friday night and registered an assist on Ryane Clowes second period goal. Havlat didnt show any visible ill effects from his left shoulder injury that was surgically repaired in May, and looked comfortable on his line with Clowe and Logan Couture.

That line scored its first even strength goal of the season when Clowe went hard to the net and the puck bounced in off of his left skate.

Havlat said afterwards that the pace of the game was somewhat difficult, but he felt strong nonetheless.

It was a tough game for me, especially just jumping into the season like that. But, its going to get better. Everything was a little bit off, but the more we play the better its going to get, he said.

He talked about feeling good on the ice, and being confident with his injury, said Todd McLellan. He said the tempo was pretty darn quick, which we expected. I felt good about playing him.

Havlat played more than 19 minutes, and that number could increase when he gets a few more games under his belt, according to McLellan.

Shots, shots, shot-shot-shot shots: If youve seen the first five games of the season, you already know that the Sharks are piling up shots on goal. They lead the league with 40.6 per game.

After surrendering just 19 to the Devils last night, they also lead the league in fewest shots allowed per game with 22.6.

Boston is a team that prides itself on its defense in front of Thomas, so it could be a little harder to generate so many shots tonight. San Jose will have to continue to crash the net and look for loose pucks, as Thomas is coming off of one the best seasons in NHL history for a goaltender.

San Jose scored twice on Friday just that way by creating chaos around the net including Clowes goal, which tied the game at 2-2.

We werent turning away. We werent going to easy areas. We scored an ugly goal and it probably made the difference for us, said McLellan.

What can Braun do for you: The Sharks third defense pair of Jason Demers and Colin White has struggled. That was evident on New Jerseys go-ahead goal late in the third period last night, when Demers misplayed a puck at the offensive blue line and White fell down on his backcheck, leaving the Devils David Clarkson alone in front of the net.

McLellan mentioned his displeasure with that goal after last nights win, and the Sharks have since recalled defensemanJustin Braun from Worcester. Braun could be making his season debut tonight, so look for either Demers or White to come out of the lineup.

Tommy Wingels was reassigned to Worcester to make room for Braun.
Points at a premium: Even with their win last night, the Sharks still woke up this morning already trailing Dallas by eight points in the standings. The Stars are 6-1 and have played two more games than the Sharks.

It makes claiming that extra point by prevailing in the shootout last night that much more important.

Its huge, especially coming back the way we did, said Thornton. Its just a big confidence booster and a little shot in the arm for all the guys. Hopefully this can spur something and we can get on a little winning streak.

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.

Sharks sign defenseman from Czech Republic

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AP

Sharks sign defenseman from Czech Republic

The Sharks have signed Czech defenseman Radim Simek to a one-year contract.

The two-way deal, originally reported by Radio Praha in the Czech Republic, is expected to be announced by the Sharks later this week, according to a source. Simek just finished competing for his country in the 2017 IIHF World Championships, skating in all eight games for the Czech Republic while posting one goal, one assist, 11 shots and a minus-two rating.

Simek, 24, has spent the last five seasons in the Czech League. In 42 games for Liberec in 2016-17, he posted 24 points (11g, 13a) and 30 penalty minutes with a plus-18 rating. A left-handed shot, he is listed at five-foot-11 and 196 pounds on the IIHF website.

The New York Rangers were also interested in Simek, according to the report.

Simek will likely begin next season with the AHL Barracuda.

The Sharks have signed a number of free agents out of Europe in recent seasons, including Joonas Donskoi in 2015 and Marcus Sorensen and Tim Heed last May.