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Preview/Lines #77: What Can Graf Improve From Debut? Kostin Ill

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Credit: Dean Tait/Hockey Shots

You obviously can’t get a full picture of a player from just his NHL debut.

Nerves, adjustment, you name it, there’s all kinds of factors that affect performance in a debut.

But Collin Graf had a pretty good idea of what he wanted to improve from his NHL debut yesterday.

Graf played 13:36, got some second power play time, and registered a shot.

“Just try to be more comfortable,” he said last night. “Make a play, don’t just throw it off my stick as quickly as I can because I’m nervous. Try to hold on and make a better play.”

Sharks Locker Room: San Jose Has One Building Block in Eklund, Who’s Next?

Regardless, San Jose Sharks head coach David Quinn liked what he saw: “I thought always in the right place, poise with the puck, smart, good stick. It’s not always about wowing everybody in the National Hockey League.”

Young players often fall victim to trying to do too much, so that’s a good start. What’s Quinn looking for today?

“A little bit faster pace,” he said.

But the bench boss cautioned that there’s a difference between making plays and forcing them: “I think as he keeps moving forward here, he’s gonna figure out what it’s going to take to be productive offensively in the National Hockey League and when you start chasing the offensive aspect of it, that’s usually when you get in trouble.

“I didn’t think he chased it. I thought he was playing the situation in front of him, whatever it demanded of him and he did a good job of it and tried to do the right thing.”

San Jose Sharks (18-50-8)

Mackenzie Blackwood will start.

Klim Kostin is ill, so Ryan Carpenter slides in. Quinn confirmed the top-six, Lund Line Supremacy!

Eklund-Granlund-Zetterlund
Bailey-Kunin-Graf

Arizona Coyotes (32-39-5)

WHERE TO WATCH

Puck drop between the San Jose Sharks and Arizona Coyotes is 3 PM at SAP Center. Watch it live on NBC Sports California. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.

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