Joe Pavelski is happy that the San Jose Sharks are back on track.
Since the fan favorite left San Jose for Dallas during free agency in the summer of 2019, the Sharks have struggled, missing the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.
San Jose is in the thick of the playoff race this year though, just out of a Western Conference wild card spot right now with a 14-12-1 record.
“They’re playing good hockey. They’re a team that works hard, works extremely hard, and that’s the message. You got to be ready against these guys, they’re gonna compete,” Pavelski said this morning. “So yeah, it’s good to see.”
“Compete” was the word that Pavelski used to describe the San Jose Sharks on multiple occasions today.
“There’s a few guys over there I don’t really know a lot about and then I know the other half of them, got a ton of respect for how they compete, the teammates they are,” he said.
He also added, about ex-teammate Timo Meier, who’s emerged as the breakout star of this season’s Sharks: “We know what he can do. I think the biggest thing is he’s competing right now. He’s always been able to skate, shoot the puck. He’s found his game. He’s got some confidence.”
So the long-time Shark likes what he sees in San Jose — would the impending UFA consider coming back?
“We’re gonna try to get through this year first,” he said, laughing, before adding about Dallas. “We love it. It couldn’t be any better for us there right now. Family is doing great.
“Really enjoying the guys in the locker room, the team, so for us right now, that’s probably the number-one option.”
Well…he did say “probably”.
There’s no doubt that the memories of playing with the San Jose Sharks are near and dear to Pavelski’s heart.
When asked about his favorite Sharks memory, he struggled to name just one.
“Oh, man, there wasn’t one. All the guys in the locker room having fun, the trips, the long plane rides, those types of things,” he remembered. “And then the games, the freshest one that I really think of is probably Game Seven against Colorado last year I was here. Scoring there, that’s one of my favorite goals I’ve scored in this building, along with a few others.”
That was, if you recall, Pavelski’s return from an ugly head injury suffered in the 2019 first-round series against the Vegas Golden Knights.
“Playing with some of the guys that we had in that locker room, Jumbo and Patty, different guys that came in, there was always a sense you don’t want to waste a night. You have to be good throughout a year to give yourself an opportunity in the playoffs,” he recounted. “If you aren’t going good, get it back. There’s still a chance to win that night. You can’t just pack it in. Just keep pushing, it’s a long season.
“There’s gonna be ups and downs, but try to steal a few games along the way and get everyone doing that, you find yourself and figure stuff out.”
That sounds like the San Jose Sharks this year, right? Too bad Pavelski isn’t a part of it.
San Jose Sharks (14-12-1)
#SJSharks morning skate line rushes:
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) December 11, 2021
Dallas Stars (13-9-2)
Roope Hintz (illness) is a game-time decision for tonight's game at San Jose. https://t.co/e6ylCv55tM
— Owen Newkirk (@OwenNewkirk) December 11, 2021
Where to Watch
Puck drop against the Stars is 7:30 PM PT at SAP Center. Watch it live on NBC Sports California and ESPN+. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.
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