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Gabriel Says “Democracy Was Attacked”, Boughner Talks Merkley, Labanc on Sharks Emulating Bruins PP



We’re winding down here at San Jose Sharks’ training camp.

Big personal news! My self-quarantine in Arizona is almost over, and I should be at both tomorrow’s morning skate and Teal-White scrimmage.

We got new and telling Sharks groups today:

This is meaningful because Boughner said on Thursday, “We’re hoping to [after Jan.8 scrimmage], we’re going to see if it works, [separate] an NHL squad and an AHL squad. It’s getting to the point where we have to get our players together, on one team, practicing together.”

This was my read of the question marks these groups provoked:

Bob Boughner spoke today on whether or not he’d consider sitting a healthy Patrick Marleau. He also talked about “cleaning up the [locker room] culture”, what Noah Gregor has to improve, and where Ryan Merkley finds himself on the depth chart. Also, Radim Simek is still being handled carefully.

Kurtis Gabriel talked about whether or not he’s been holding back his physicality at camp and Wednesday’s insurrection at the Capitol.

Kevin Labanc shared intriguing details about what the San Jose Sharks are trying to accomplish on the power play.

Boughner on Simek’s Health, Sitting Marleau, Merkley’s Status

Bob Boughner, on Radim Simek’s first appearance at practice since Jan. 4:

We kept him on for about half the practice, that was by plan. He just got back on the ice, didn’t get in anything too strenuous on the knee. He felt pretty good.

We’ll make a decision tonight if we’re going to play him tomorrow. But I like to keep easing him in, getting him ready for Thursday night.

Boughner, on how the 41-year-old Marleau looks at camp and if it’s a guarantee that he stays in the line-up if healthy:

Patty looks good. He never seems to lose a step.

He’s a safe player. As a coach, you feel good with him on the ice. I’ll like to see him play as much as possible. We’ll see what happens. I’m not guaranteeing anything.

Boughner, on if he talked to Logan Couture about changing his leadership approach this year:

I think so. We talked a lot about this in the off-season. We have some big personalities in our dressing room. We talked about cleaning up the culture. We’ve addressed that.

Logan has to have the support of management and coaching staff and the leadership group around him, to be able to be confident, to have those conversations, be frank with guys and treat everybody the same. That’s the one standard we have established here this year — no one’s bigger than the team.

Boughner, on Noah Gregor needing to improve himself on faceoffs:

We’ve strictly put him at centerman at this training camp. For me, it looks like he’s going to be comfortable there. He’s earned himself the chance to start at center here.

John [Madden] and [Mike Ricci] are both working with him.

That’s something that’s going to be a work in progress. That’s one of the parts of his game that he knows has to improve.

Boughner, on Ryan Merkley’s camp:

I think he’s just been OK.

He’s a young guy, there’s some hard competition for that job.

I think when he has the puck, he’s a pretty special player. I still think he has work to do in the defensive part of the game.

Young guys for me, especially high-end prospects, we’re going to have to put him to a spot where he’s going to play a lot of minutes.

Whatever happens to Ryan, I want to have his development stay on the upswing.

Gabriel Talks Insurrection at Capitol

Gabriel, on whether or not, because they haven’t played any opponents so far, he hasn’t been able to unleash his trademark physicality at camp: 

I just try to walk the line, try not to get in trouble. If you watched the last [scrimmage], trying to hold back from fighting. Just trying to make clean checks when they’re there, play my game.

They know I can do the physical role, the tough guy role.

I’m just my best with guys after practice, just mess around with Middleton, practice fighting.

Labanc Shares What Sharks Are Adding to PP

Labanc, on Boughner’s assertion that San Jose Sharks power play will flash more speed on entry and also attack more quickly on entry:

We’re looking good [on the power play]. We’re moving the puck well. [Erik Karlsson’s] breaking us in well. We’re all on the same page.

We can easily be a top-five power play in the NHL and we know that.

Boston is one of the best scoring off the rush on the power play. We kind of want to implement their game to ours. Get that speed coming into the zone.

It’s hard for the PK unit to set up if we’re coming in with speed. If you can score on the rush, why not? Instead of stopping, setting up, then the PK sets up.

That’s going to be a big thing for this upcoming year.

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