(Originally published at Kukla’s Korner, January 13, 2013)
Are the Sharks ready? Is anyone?
I had to decide not to go to training camp today since I had plans to go with friends to a Bulls game. It takes us months to find a date that works for all of us, so I don’t have regrets there. But I am cranky that the Sharks couldn’t skate early enough for me to do both. It irked me that Flyers and Red Wings had volunteered to do physicals yesterday, and as far as I know Sharks didn’t. My crankiness is no doubt amplified by eager impatience for this season to get going.
Dan Boyle explained that this eagerness is shared by the players. They can’t truly know if they are ready either:
I did the best that I could to stay in shape… as much as you try, I think you need to play games to get into game shape. It may take a week or two but… Everybody’s so excited to be playing, I think adrenaline will kick in and this was just such a miserable summer for everyone so we’re all excited to be back on the ice. It should be a pretty exciting start to the season.
We have a list of who to expect in camp from Worcester. To shore up the injured Sharks defense, which may or may not include Brent Burns: Matt Irwin, Nick Petrecki, Matt Pelech and Matt Tennyson. Forwards who should be here by now are: John McCarthy, James Sheppard (whose contract status is still not official) and Frazer McLaren. Bracken Kearns was also a scratch from last night’s Worcester game, so he may also be in San Jose now. A late addition to the list:
@210Darryl: Add Brandon Mashinter to the list of #WorSharks recalled to San Jose
I saw this tweet about the new CBA this morning, and it has me a little baffled:
@reporterchris: “The new CBA doesn’t allow for NHL players to be put through a skate on the same day they do medical testing. Another wrinkle in short camp.”
I imagine there’s some kind of loophole in there so that all these teams can at least show fans some skating today. That, or the Sharks did secretly do their physicals yesterday.
The excitement and impatience bound to characterize this week reminds me of something Pat Curcio said about energy levels a few games ago:
Sometimes when the energy level’s up you forget what you’re supposed to do out there, and you’re just running around and trying to do so much.
The start of this short season for the Sharks will be a chance for us to see veterans handle themselves in a similar state of mind. On Friday, I asked Ryane Clowe whether the start of a short season presents different mental challenges than the start of a regular season:
A little bit: as an individual you realize you don’t have time. During a season, an 82 game schedule, you have time to work through stuff, you don’t really have that here. You play 20 games and you’re through half the year, it’ll be over before you know it. So as a team I think the biggest thing is you don’t want to put yourself in a hole early and a good start is important.
Reading that again makes me even more grumpy about not being in San Jose today.
The mostly new Worcester Sharks play the Portland Pirates today at 12 noon Pacific time, listen on WTAG.
The Bulls play the Bakersfield Condors today at 2:15 pm (obviously Pacific time). Listen to that on KNBR.