(Originally published at Kukla’s Korner, January 29, 2013)
Demers and Sheppard stayed a little late, caught up with Brad Staubitz and Dan Winnik on the bench. I thought that was nice.
The reports about Jason Demers and Brent Burns should be considered positive developments. The reports I mean are things like:
Jason Demers practiced with the team and took line rushes with Matt Irwin this morning while Nick Petrecki and Brent Burns skated together. Still, McLellan stopped short of declaring Demers good-to-go. -Working the Corners
Even if Demers isn’t expected to play tonight, he isn’t far off. With him available to play, the team will have choices to make but they are good choices. Like sitting Sheppard to make room for Gomez, it is more a wealth of riches than a shortage of options.
Brent Burns, while probably not as close to playing as Demers, also showed visible improvement. His merely being in the practice tells us that. Still, what he told David Pollak doesn’t inspire confidence:
“I think every day I’m just trying to get better,” Burns said. “It’s coming.”
Was he encouraged?
“I wouldn’t use that word,” he said, exiting the locker room.
If Burns is still glum about it, no wonder. He could not have anticipated this non-start to his season.
Dan Boyle. Even if he hadn’t left the last game with a persistently bleeding nose, his absence from practice would be noteworthy.
@sharkvoice: “No Dan Boyle at Sharks morning skate. He has a cold. Game time decision….”
I know hockey players are durable, fit athletes, but if Boyle has a cold it just can’t be good to play while sick. Will he be all he can be? Will he make himself sicker? It is disturbing. With everything else going so well, it is a blot on our shiny Sharks picture.
The Sharks PR department alerts us to the fact that there are some milestones coming up for Sharks players. Justin Braun is one game away from 100, Andrew Desjardins is only two away. Patrick Marleau could score four goals and hit the 400 mark tonight. Hey, you never know. Joe Thornton needs nine points to get to 1100, and Adam Burish could reach the 500 penalty minutes mark if he is so inclined. He needs six more. I suppose since the Sharks face the Ducks tonight, that milestone could be reached without much difficulty.
Jonas Hiller will probably be in net for Anaheim. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t recognize his shiny new mask. The gold-colored grill and details are quite eye-catching.
The Ducks haven’t played since Saturday, the Sharks had yesterday off, so everyone should be well-rested… that is, if they aren’t suffering from illness. Sheesh.