Sharks, Blues prepare for more physical play

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Sharks, Blues prepare for more physical play

The Sharks and Blues held their mutual infamy from Game 2s 132-minute chat as a sort of trophy for all of 20 hours.Then Pittsburgh, which is in far deeper mess than San Jose, hooked up with Philadelphia for a 133-minute hatefest that took the shame meter deeper into the red, and Game 3 got, well, closer to normal.Its playoffs, San Jose coach Todd McLellan said after dismissing any request to relive Saturdays hate-festival3-0 St. Louis win. Its a scrappy time of year, especially in the first round. Every inch is important. Youve got to scratch and claw to score goals and earn ice. Its amazing what six inches of ice can do for you. When you lose it, youre chasing the game. When you win those six or 12 inches of ice, youre in the lead. Thats the kind of series it is and will be.McLellan also explained the emotional burst in Game 2 as merely the conditions that prevail.Its because everybody believes they have a chance right now, he said. Passionate groups, all 16 of them. They worked hard to get here, and theyre trying to find an edge every way they can. Once the first round ends, everybody kind of settles in and plays. But that first round is always so emotional.And the extracurriculars?Its emotion. Very high, very intense, the fans are involved. Its an exciting time of year. Other than that, its hard to explain. You have to be there to feel it. Its a feel you get on the bench. Guys get active and get involved.Of course, Pittsburgh crossed all manner of lines as they suddenly saw elimination and embarrassment in one fell swoop on Sunday. The Sharks and Blues were just turf-warring, with a jagged edge.Until you're out there you dont really realize the frustration level and the intensity, wing Ryane Clowe said. You dont want to feel like youre getting pushed around, you want to push back. Its a fine line. And skill guys, too, are getting feisty. I like it.If guys are fighting each other, I dont see that as a lack of respect. But last night, when a guy sucker-punches you, thats not something Id do. But I think for the most part, respect among players is there. The only thing is, sometimes youre not thinking straight when your bloods boiling.As for adjustments to change the nature of the series, McLellan was coy (maybe a moment for Jim Vandermeer?), and St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said he would keep Brian Elliott in goal, though much of that had to do with Jaroslav Halaks injury preventing him from making the trip west. Jake Allen, who warmed up with the team when Elliott looked questionable before Game 1.But the series has probably had its worst moment. Well, until Monday.

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.