The San Jose Sharks opened training camp in Scottsdale this morning.
It’s a new world for the Sharks, who haven’t played since mid-March. They missed the NHL’s playoff bubble, can’t host training camp in San Jose, and franchise staple Joe Thornton chose Maple Leaf blue over teal in free agency.
Erik Karlsson illustrated some of this new reality, when asked about the team’s routine: “It starts with getting tested every morning. It’s everyday testing. We have breakfast here at the hotel. We get changed here then go to the facilities. We work out and skate. We come back here, shower in our own rooms. After that, I haven’t figured it out because it’s 12:45 here.”
Karlsson talked about his expectations for himself after a tough year, Brent Burns went off on his experience shooting “Vikings”, Tomas Hertl claimed to have bigger legs, Logan Couture spoke on what has to change this camp after back-to-back poor San Jose starts to the season, and Bob Boughner offered more on how the Sharks will attack differently this year. And they all miss Jumbo.
GREAT EXPECTATIONS FOR KARLSSON
The expectations haven’t changed for Erik Karlsson.
On the first day of training camp, the two-time Norris Trophy winner betrayed no sign that he expects anything less than his customary elite-level play — or anything more from himself because of a largely disappointing campaign last year.
“The expectations for myself never change,” Karlsson said.
However, expectations are beginning to trend the wrong way for the NHL’s highest-paid defenseman, as Karlsson has yet to author a Norris-worthy campaign in teal. In his debut season with the San Jose Sharks, Karlsson was hampered by a major groin injury, and in the following year, a broken thumb cut short an unremarkable 2019-20.
Will better health help the 30-year-old turn back the clock?
Karlsson hinted that May 2019’s groin surgery may have affected him into last season.
“Any time where you don’t have an off-season where you can do progressive work like you normally do [because] you’re rehabbing,” Karlsson offered, “maybe it does affect you for the upcoming year.”
He added: “I’ve been through it before. It’s hard to say how much or how little it affects you. I do feel good now. I don’t think it’s anything that’s going to be lingering.”
Doug Wilson is sure of it:
“I hope that I’m better than I was before,” said Karlsson.
BURNS ON “VIKINGS”
Brent Burns offered perhaps the greatest injury update of all-time this morning: “I had an upper-body injury on ‘Vikings’, I think I’m alright in this world though.”
Hockey player. Ranch owner. Norris winner. Actor on the show Vikings.
You know, just @Burnzie88 things.
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) December 31, 2020
Burns took San Jose Sharks fans by surprise when his guest appearance on History Channel’s “Vikings” was revealed yesterday. He loved every minute of shooting it, from traveling to Ireland, drinking a lot of Guinness, and working with actor Peter Franzen:
“It was awesome.
“A couple years ago, filmed it.
“I always thought the guys were lying when they said they didn’t really watch their own movies or shows. I didn’t realize it takes that long to get that stuff going. To see where they film it, how it’s all done, it was unbelievable. Such a cool experience.
“It definitely was one of my favorite shows, if not my favorite show. I had a guy I work with pounding on the doors to try to get me in there. It’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.
“To see the characters in real life, meet the actors who portray those guys, and see how amazing they are…Peter Franzen, I worked a lot with. God, he was just incredible.
“That election scene that he does, the first one, he ripped off the whole thing — actually, the whole crew, everybody gave him applause right after. It was crazy. And then we shot it 70 more times.
“It was definitely something different. Incredible. He’d be talking about his farm in between takes. Then right away, he’s back to being King Harald.
“It was just so cool.
“All the guys and girls there, they welcomed me in, they were accepting of my lack of acting experience. I had no idea what I was doing.
“It was just awesome. I couldn’t say enough good things about that.
“The set, Ireland, being there. I know [Kevin Kurz] likes his Guinness, but I’ll tell you, it’s pretty good over there. I tried a whole bunch of different pubs and they’re all good.
“I had an upper-body injury on “Vikings,” I think I’m alright in this world though.”
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