Sharks practice on HP's new boards

October 13, 2011, 4:31 pm
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The Sharks will have a second straight practice on Thursday morning at HP Pavilion, rather than their typical off-day location at Sharks Ice, to continue getting used to the new boards there.

First time this season weve had a chance to practice here, said Todd McLellan on Wednesday. Obviously, new boards, glass trying to get a better feel for whats going to happen on the ice. They are way more lively than the old ones. So, were able to incorporate a little bit of that into the drills.

It would be easy for the casual observer to think that the Sharks might be able to use knowledge of their home boards to their advantage, but in the heat of battle, its not really something the guys on the ice think about. Rather, McLellan said is has to become an innate response during game play.

There are some ways, if you know your rink and your boards, you can use it to your advantage, but it has to be a natural reaction, he said. It cant be a thinking thing. Im not sure were at that level yet. We still have to just play the game and whatever happens, happens.

The puck comes off hot, and its one of those things where it can hurt you or make it an advantage, said defenseman Douglas Murray. We know what other rinks we go in to and how their boards are. Other teams are going to know here, as well, but at the same time you can catch somebody by surprise.

Getting used to the new boards is one of the rare advantages of a six-day break between games, since most of the players would rather be at least two or three games into their season by now after Saturdays win.

McLellan has held very spirited, long, and hard working skates this week, trying to keep his team in shape for the three games in four nights that begins tomorrow in Anaheim.

Its about getting better as a team in a lot of areas, he said.