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San Jose Barracuda

Alex True Talks Increased Role, Blichfeld’s “Weird” Superstitions & “League of Legends”

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Credit: San Jose Barracuda

If you watch any Barracuda game this season, you’ll see a lot of Alexander True. The 23-year-old plays in all situations: First-line center, top power play unit, and the penalty kill.

Naturally, True has also been one of the Barracuda’s most reliable scorers — his longest pointless streak this year has just been three games. He is second on the Barracuda in scoring with eight goals and 11 assists, just one point behind Joachim Blichfeld’s team-leading 20 points.

“I got a little stronger in my legs during the off-season, so I don’t get as tired as I did last season,” True said. “It’s fun to play a lot of minutes, but it’s also a lot of responsibility … you gotta go out and perform.”

At the beginning of the off-season, True and fellow Dane Blichfeld returned to Denmark and joined separate local pro teams. However, True suffered an ankle sprain in his first game. The recovery lasted more than two months, rendering True unable to skate.

“I could work out fine with weights, on the bike, and stuff like that,” True said. “So I got in pretty good physical shape. Just not in great skating shape. But it made me more hungry and excited to be back on the ice.”

Signed to the San Jose Sharks in 2018, True is now a Barracuda alternate captain. In his fourth year of professional play, True said he’s matured, credited his month-long stint with the San Jose Sharks last year. True recorded four assists in 12 games through Feb. and Mar. 2020.

“I don’t know in what way really, if it was just the pace of the game or something, but it helped me for sure,” True said of last year’s NHL experience.

True and Blichfeld have been fixtures on the Barracuda’s first line since early Feb. Blichfeld credited their chemistry to their friendship and communication. Now in their second year as roommates, True said of Blichfeld’s pregame superstitions:

“They’re kind of stupid, because they don’t make sense at all. We’ll be driving to the game and he goes ‘Truesy, if you put this song on right now, I’m going to score a goal and we’re going to win the game.’ Just small, weird superstitions like that.”

Different wingers had their turn playing with the Danish duo, but they seem to have found a good third wheel. San Jose Sharks 2017 sixth-round draft pick Sasha Chmelevski, now on a five-game point streak, has played first-line left wing for the past four games.

“[Chmelevski] has a really good shot, works really hard, and he has good skill too,” True said. “He thinks the game well. He’s pretty good at communicating with us, which helps our chemistry a lot.”

True’s Barracuda League of Legends Team

True mentioned his old interest in League of Legends to the Locked On Sharks podcast in Feb. He elaborated that he used to play when he was younger, beginning in 2014, and picked up the still-popular video game again during the off-season.

“I played a little bit in the summer because my younger brother has the whole computer gaming setup, but I’m not that much of a gamer,” True said. “It was just a fun activity to do when we were locked down.”

True put together a Barracuda League of Legends team, based on how his teammates’ on-ice play styles would fit into the game’s five positions.

“I think Blichy would be the [attack damage] carry cause he’s a good shooter,” True said. “I’d be the mid laner just because I play center.”

He said team captain Jaycob Megna would fit as the jungler. Megna often “puts a lot of fires out” for others, according to head coach Roy Sommer.

“[Megna’s] gotta make sure everything is running pretty smooth.” True said. “Either one of the goalie would be the support, because I think support in League of Legends is one of the most important roles. [For top lane], it’s a tough one. I’d put [Maxim Letunov] there, because he’s hot right now. I want a hot top lane and that’s Letunov right now.”

Pair of First Goals Jumpstart Cuda Win

The Barracuda (11-9-4-2) took their second straight victory over the Texas Stars (12-14-2-0) in a 5-3 win Friday night.

Alexei Melnichuk stopped 25 of 28 shots faced in a bounce-back performance from Tuesday’s 7-2 loss.

From below the Texas goal line, Lean Bergmann swept in a rebound while on his back to open the scoring early in the first period. It was Bergmann’s first goal in 23 games this season, assisted by Zach Gallant and Ryan Merkley. The assist was Merkley’s first point in seven games.

Later in the first period, the Stars capitalized on a Barracuda turnover to tie the game. Texas scored again early in the second period to take a 2-1 lead.

Just two minutes later, Steenn Pasichnuk made a defensive zone steal and was rewarded with his first professional goal. Zach Gallant earned the sole assist, making it two straight goals from San Jose’s fourth line.

The Stars scored early in the third period to retake their one-goal lead.

Evan Weinger sent a wrist shot through the five-hole of the Stars goalie to tie the game at 3-3 with 13:32 left. Weinger’s unassisted goal was his second of the season and first in 12 games.

Late in the third period, Bergmann centered the puck from behind the Stars net, setting up a one-time shot for Scott Reedy. Reedy’s second goal in his sixth professional game was the eventual game-winner.

True scored his eighth goal of the season on an empty net, assisted by Blichfeld and Chmelevski to complete the 5-3 win.

The Barracuda play the last of four consecutive games against the Stars Saturday at SAP Center.

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Alaskan_ice

It’s probably above me but why hadn’t True been given time on the big club?? We seem to need a center. He did pretty well last year in his time on the Sharks. Why aren’t they giving him the chance?

Sheng Peng

He’s a marginal NHL player I think, to be honest. If guys like Kellman and Handemark are getting more looks than you — it’s telling

david barnard

True’s lack of NHL playing time is conspicuous.

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