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Preview/Lines #82: RFA Gregor Making Sharks’ Decision on Him Easy?



Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

We’ve seen this story with Noah Gregor before.

Last year, the San Jose Sharks winger ended his season with a flourish, notching four goals and two assists in his last eight games after an up-and-down campaign.

This season, the 24-year-old is writing the sequel, with five goals and four assists in his last 10 games after an up-and-down campaign.

And just like last off-season, the Sharks must make a decision on the pending RFA.

More plays like this, the decision will be easy.

This snarl, this F-you from Noah Gregor (73), insisting on getting to the net against Bowen Byram (4) – David Quinn laughed, “He’d be a rich man if he did it every shift.”

Quinn is seeing more of this from Gregor though.

“I like to see it on that side of it offensively when he gets it and he’s not defendable and he’s moving and he’s got a little edge to him and he’s leaning [on] them,” he noted. “It’s happening more though. He’s had more of that into his game throughout the last two months.”

What else has Gregor had more of recently?

Gregor actually leads the San Jose Sharks with 74 Hits since Jan. 16 – he’s played an uninterrupted string of games since then, after a multitude of healthy scratches in the first half of the season.

You watch these clips, it’s hard to believe that Gregor was ever scratched, especially on an undermanned Sharks squad, but there’s the rub. Like many young players, Gregor has struggled to find consistency in the best league in the world.

But maybe, just maybe, he’s finally finding it? He’s still just 24.

“[He’s] just playing with more of an edge and more consistent compete. Obviously, he’s got that speed that everybody sees when you go from zone to zone,” Quinn said. “But there’s also another element in this game, playing fast, when the game’s within the zone and you got to make quick decisions and whatnot. You got to be competitive in all your battles and I think he’s made great strides in those areas.”

Sharks Locker Room: Quinn on Gregor’s Growing Maturity, Couture or Hertl to Wing Next Year

Gregor and Quinn appear to be on the same page in regards to his growing consistency, after maybe not being on that earlier in the season.

“That’s definitely something I’ve been working on my whole career is just trying to find my consistent game,” Gregor said. “I think the last 20-25 games, I’ve played some solid hockey. The production wasn’t always there, so it’s nice that it’s came a little bit here to finish. So yeah, I’d agree with that.”

It comes down to this for Quinn, and many a hockey coach.

“We sit here watching video,” Quinn mused, “Win your battles. It is amazing how easy this game is when guys win their battles.”

San Jose Sharks (22-43-16)

We can assume that James Reimer will start, since Kaapo Kahkonen went yesterday.

Here’s how the Sharks lined up yesterday against the Calgary Flames:

Edmonton Oilers (49-23-9)

Where To Watch

The San Jose Sharks will take on the Edmonton Oilers at 6 PM PST at Rogers Place. Watch it live on NBC Sports California. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.

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