Sharks eager to bring energy to game against Hurricanes
A team meeting that included an appearance from a team executive at the end of a difficult road trip temporarily re-energized the San Jose Sharks. Now, they know the need to build off of it.
Back at SAP Center for one game, the Sharks meet the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night.
San Jose (13-10-5) avoided going winless on a five-game road trip with Sunday's 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. The Sharks were outscored 20-7 during the first four games of the swing, prompting a team meeting that was attended by general manager Doug Wilson.
Logan Couture saw it as a reaffirmation.
"The tone was we can figure this out," the San Jose center said after the win. "We have the team to win games in this league. It takes a full buy-in from everyone to do things right, and I think tonight is a step in that direction. I thought we did a lot of the little things well tonight."
But changes were yet to come. On Tuesday, the San Jose Mercury News reported that coach Peter DeBoer made the decision to shuffle the responsibilities of his three assistants.
"We're close, but we've been close for 30 games now almost," DeBoer said. "A third of the season's over and we're not finding the right side of that line to get more wins."
The Sharks won't be home for long. After this game, San Jose takes on the Dallas Stars and Arizona Coyotes on consecutive nights starting Friday.
But DeBoer's club is 6-1-1 in the last eight at SAP Center and looking for a fourth consecutive home win over Carolina.
Captain Joe Pavelski noted that the team willing to take that extra step is generally more successful.
"At the end of the day, it usually comes down to wanting it a little bit more, competing a little bit more, sacrificing a little more," said Pavelski, who has a team-high 17 goals. "We've been in a tough stretch, but it's nice to get a win and hopefully we can keep climbing now."
That could happen against a Hurricanes team that has managed just four goals in their last four games and is coming off a 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday. Carolina (12-10-4) ranks near the bottom of the league with an average of 2.50 goals per game.
"Michael Ferland paces the club with 11 goals, but he's missed the last two games with a concussion and is not with the team. Sebastien Aho, who broke out with 29 goals last season, has just seven through 26 games.
"We're going to be talking about this all year," Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour told the team's official website on Tuesday. "That's our group. We need to out-chance teams to be successful."
The 'Canes are going for a split of the season series. On Oct. 26, Carolina rallied from a pair of two-goal deficits and Brock McGinn posted the only goal in the shootout for a 4-3 victory.
Both teams are reportedly getting players back in the lineup.
According to the Mercury News, Sharks winger Timo Meier is expected back Wednesday after missing the last three games with an upper-body injury. He ranks second on the team with 13 goals and is tied for third with 23 points.
Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce has been sidelined for the last nine games with a lower-body injury.
"He's given me the nod that he's 100 percent," Brind'Amour told the team's official website after practice on Tuesday.
Pesce has two goals and an assist in 17 games.
Updated December 4, 2018