NHL

Devils-Sharks Preview

Share This Story

   
 

The San Jose Sharks and New Jersey Devils had plenty of players who took home medals from the Olympics. There certainly may be more hardware in their future.

Following the two-week Olympic break, the Sharks host the Devils on Tuesday night in a matchup of two of the league's top teams.

San Jose (40-13-9) and New Jersey (37-21-3), who could potentially meet in the Stanley Cup finals, had a combined 13 players make the trip to Vancouver.

Sharks standouts Dan Boyle, Dany Heatley, Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton, along with the Devils' Martin Brodeur, helped Canada win a gold medal, beating the United States in dramatic fashion. Canada prevailed 3-2 in overtime after New Jersey's Zach Parise scored with 24.4 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game at 2.

New Jersey's Jamie Langenbrunner teamed up with Parise while Patrik Elias (Czech Republic) and Johnny Oduya (Sweden) also participated in Vancouver.

Joe Pavelski was the Sharks' U.S. representative, while Douglas Murray (Sweden), Thomas Greiss (Germany) and Evgeni Nabokov (Russia) also made the trip.

Their success at the Olympics shouldn't be surprising. San Jose is in first place in the Western Conference, two points ahead of Chicago, and New Jersey is in second place in the East.

Both teams will have to adjust as the Olympians filter back in for practices. After 10 days away from the rink, Sharks coach Todd McLellan has called this past week a "mini training camp."

"There's only so much you can do with 10 players," he said. "The on-ice part of it is important. But the meetings we have prior to it as well as the review of a lot of video stuff is crucial right now for the players that are here."

It was an especially helpful time for newly acquired defenseman Niclas Wallin, who played four road games with San Jose after being acquired in a trade with Carolina. Wallin had never even been to the Sharks' practice facility before Wednesday.

"They use a different kind of hockey language here," he said. "They use different phrases. That's the biggest adjustment to get used to. I'm so excited to be here. I'm like a kid in a candy store."

Wallin and the Sharks are eager to play again after losing 3-1 to Buffalo on Feb. 13 in their last game before the break.

The Devils got a chance to rest and clear their heads after stumbling into the break, going 5-10-2 despite acquiring Ilya Kovalchuk in a trade with Atlanta on Feb. 4.

"I think it was us just being tired," center Travis Zajac said. "It was a lot of hockey. Mentally we were not as sharp as we usually were and you can see it on the ice when things were not going right we weren't skating and moving the puck as well as we usually do."

Brodeur's demotion to Canada's backup goaltender provided some unexpected rest. He's having yet another outstanding season, posting a 34-20-3 record and a 2.32 goals-against average.

Brodeur, though, was showing signs of tiring, going 3-4-1 with a 3.20 GAA in his last eight games. He wasn't in net for New Jersey's last matchup with San Jose, a 6-5 Devils win Feb. 15, 2009.

New Jersey has won six of the last seven meetings.

Tagged: Devils, Sharks, Canucks, Jets, Joe Thornton, Niclas Wallin, Jamie Langenbrunner, Martin Brodeur, Patrik Elias, Patrick Marleau, Evgeni Nabokov, Dan Boyle, Dany Heatley, Douglas Murray, Zach Parise, Ilya Kovalchuk, Joe Pavelski, Johnny Oduya, Travis Zajac, Thomas Greiss

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Play Hockey Simulation Game on WhatIfSports

NHL Videos

Toews, Kane: Easy decision to resign with Blackhawks Posted: Jul 17, 2014
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane say their decision to sign matching 8-year, $84M...

LA mayor 'F-bombs' Kings rally Posted: Jun 17, 2014
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti toasts the Stanley Cup champion Kings in front o...

Kings, fans celebrate Stanley Cup Posted: Jun 16, 2014
Kings players celebrate winning the Stanley Cup with a parade through downtown L...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Pittsburgh_Penguins/browse/featuredproduct/175178/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_175000/FF_175178_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black
    Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Dallas_Stars/browse/featuredproduct/243363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_243000/FF_243363_xl.jpg&w=100 124.95 Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey
    Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Tampa_Bay_Lightning/browse/featuredproduct/301017/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_301000/ff_301017_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Anaheim_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/398322/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_398000/FF_398322_xl.jpg&w=100 43.99 Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Red_Wings/browse/featuredproduct/403205/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_403000/FF_403205_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack
    Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Chicago_Blackhawks/browse/featuredproduct/408123/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_408000/FF_408123_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey
    Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_Jersey_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/456774/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_456000/ff_456774_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Vancouver_Canucks/browse/featuredproduct/665779/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_665000/ff_665779_xl.jpg&w=100 11.95 Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick
    Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Islanders/browse/featuredproduct/752594/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_752000/ff_752594_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt