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Boughner on Vlasic-Karlsson, Why Gambrell Might Have Leg Up for 3C



Welcome to Day 2 of San Jose Sharks’ training camp!

These were actually the Sharks’ first official on-the-ice sessions since the pause in the 2019-20 NHL season on Mar. 11. It’s been nine months!

Here were the on-the-ice groups, these will change a little from day to day.

A couple interesting notes: Patrick Marleau said he practiced next to center Dylan Gambrell and John Leonard in Group 1 this morning. Noah Gregor also played center in that group.

This corroborates what Bob Boughner said last week, about Gambrell and Gregor being in the mix for the very open third-line center competition. The injured Alex True will also be right there as well when he begins training camp, hopefully in a matter of days.

Also, a worthwhile sidebar for San Jose fans hungry for some Sharks action:

Today, Martin Jones spoke about his off-season preparations, Patrick Marleau talked about how this lay-off compared to the 2012-13 and 2004-05 lockouts, Fredrik Handemark gave his first impressions of NHL hockey, Jake Middleton revealed how he changed his game this off-season, and Bob Boughner gave us some insight on why Gambrell might have a leg up in the 3C competition, along with why he might be going with Marc-Edouard Vlasic-Erik Karlsson as a pairing again. Also, we make a guess on what the Sharks’ power play units will be.

Marleau Looks Back, Why Will This Year Be Different for Jones?

Handemark Steps in, Middleton Bulks Up

Boughner on Vlasic/Karlsson, Goaltending Rotation, 3C Competition

Bob Boughner told us a lot today about his plans for the San Jose Sharks.

He explained why, despite Vlasic-Karlsson’s struggles as a pairing, they’re back together. He outlined a goaltending rotation to start the season. He noted why Dylan Gambrell might have a leg up on the third-line center competition. And he offered an update on Karlsson’s skating and hinted at possible power play units.

Boughner, on reuniting Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Erik Karlsson, Radim Simek and Brent Burns during the first on-ice session, Vlasic-Karlsson’s recent struggles:

It can change.

We wanted to start that way with some familiarity and get some flow to practice.

If they’re playing their best, they can feed off each other.

Both guys would admit they had off-years. When both have off-years, you’re going to have long nights.

We talked about the need for having our best players be our best players. Certainly those two are the names we think about. If they both bring their game, how they’re capable of playing, I think that’s going to be a great duo.

Things could change and we’re not going to be married to that combination if things aren’t working out, but I trust that both those guys have come back and put the other stuff behind them and want to have good seasons.

Boughner, on starting season with Martin Jones-Devan Dubnyk rotation, then hoping one will emerge as No.1:

We believe we have two good goalies, two no. 1 goalies.

Both of these guys, it’s been so long since they’ve both played, they’ve got to both see games. There’s going to be a lot of flip-flopping, sharing the net early, hopefully one of those guys takes the net over.

Boughner, on Noah Gregor and Dylan Gambrell playing center today:

We want to see both those guys at center. We know both can play wing.

We’ve talked about that third-line center hole that we’re looking to fill.

Dylan, whether he’s playing wing or not, he’s capable of getting into the faceoff circle and taking draws on the right side. That’s what we were lacking last year, a right-handed shot centerman.

They’re both going to get a good look at center in camp.

Boughner, on Karlsson’s skating today:

He looked good today. He was moving well. His feet looked really quick. He looked strong out there. His tempo was good.

What will Sharks’ power play units be?

Boughner may have given some clue about what the San Jose Sharks’ PP units might be to start the year.

He noted that Burns and Karlsson, both in Group 1, will stay in that group throughout training camp, but that forwards will cycle back and forth. The reason? He wants all the forwards to play with Burns and Karlsson throughout camp, including the different power play groups.

Today, Logan Couture, Timo Meier, and Kevin Labanc were the likely PP forwards in Group 1. In Group 2, will Evander Kane, Tomas Hertl, and Ryan Donato get a look with Burns and Karlsson tomorrow?

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