NEW YORK — Nick Bonino and Noah Gregor have found instant chemistry.
At first glance, it’s a sensible duo: The wily Stanley Cup winner combined with the youngster’s pinball-like energy and speed. And it’s worked out exactly that way since they’ve started playing together at the beginning of the road trip.
“He’s really fast, obviously. For me, that’s nice on the wings,” Bonino acknowledged. “I had [Cogliano, Nieto, and Gregor] there and they’re able to push the pace and back the D off and get into the o-zone.”
Here’s an example of this from Chicago.
Once the Blackhawks backcheck approaches Bonino (13), he can move it forward to a speedier option. Gregor (73) chips it in, and with his speed and physicality, is an ideal first forechecker in (F1). Bonino picks up the fruits of Gregor’s labor and gets it back to Brent Burns (88). Point shot, Gregor is in front, chance.
“Nick Bonino is a great 200-foot player, he’s been a great player in this league for a long time,” Gregor said. “He’s been good with me, talking about some small things that I can work on in my game.”
San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner liked the Bonino line in Chicago and also complimented them after the New Jersey victory.
“That’s a good line,” Boughner said. “I liked that whole line tonight.”
It didn’t hurt that Gregor scored after a Bonino faceoff win in that game. But goal or not, they’ve been a consistent source of offense in their short time together. Could the San Jose Sharks finally be a three-line team?
Gregor is seeing it: “[Bonino] thinks the game really well, can make plays. With my speed, it can work out pretty well.”
San Jose Sharks (12-9-1)
#SJSharks aren't having a morning skate, so we won't know any lineup changes until a couple hours before the game. We know that Hill will start tonight — that Karlsson and Middleton are probable
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) December 2, 2021
#SJSharks practice lines today:
Couture w/ Dahlen, Meier
Hertl w/ Barabanov, Balcers
Bonino w/ Nieto, Gregor
Weatherby w/ Pederson, Gadjovich, Labanc
Missing: Karlsson, Middleton,Cogliano
Will ask Bob shortly
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) December 1, 2021
New York Islanders
Anders Lee — Mathew Barzal — Josh Bailey
Anthony Beauvillier — Jean-Gabriel Pageau — Kyle Palmieri
Zach Parise — Otto Koivula — Oliver Wahlstrom
Matt Martin — Andy Andreoff — Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech — Scott Mayfield
Robin Salo — Noah Dobson
Sebastian Aho — Andy Greene
Where to Watch
Puck drop against the Islanders is 4:30 PM PT at UBS Arena. Watch it live on NBC Sports California and ESPN+. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.
Sheng’s Travel Fund
Help fund Sheng's travel! Every dollar goes to the cost of getting to and from Sharks road games.