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Sharks Locker Room: Knyzhov ‘Had A Lot of Emotions’ in Return to NHL

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Credit: San Jose Sharks

It was a feel-good 3-2 OT win for the San Jose Sharks over the Winnipeg Jets.

It was a last-second Tomas Hertl goal that sent it to OT, after so many heartbreaking last-second losses for the Sharks this season.

It was a homecoming game for James Reimer, who grew up in nearby Morweena.

And it was Nikolai Knyzhov’s return to the NHL, 663 days since his last NHL appearance, after a seemingly endless litany of injuries.

Knyzhov spoke on the emotions of being able to get back to the NHL. Reimer talked about his spectacular 36-save performance in front of family and friends. And San Jose Sharks head coach David Quinn raved about Knyzhov’s comeback game, and discussed benching Kevin Labanc and Jacob MacDonald’s injury.

See Nikolai Knyzhov’s interview here

Nikolai Knyzhov, on when the emotions that he was back in the NHL hit him:

To be honest with you, I had a lot of emotions in warm-up pregame skate. So I kind of let it all out there. Let it sink in, sat there a little bit, stretched out, look at the arena. Just felt through everything that I wanted to feel. Once, we got out there before the first period, I was just ready for the game. There was nothing else but just excitement, ready to play.

See James Reimer’s interview here

James Reimer, on being able to get over disappointment from not being dealt to a contender during the Trade Deadline:

This is the game I love. No matter what the situation, you want to go out there and give it your all. That’s a big part of who I am and why I do what I do, play with integrity and passion. Try to honor the good Lord. That’s my goal.

Reimer, on Knyzhov’s return:

Incredible. To go that long without playing a game and to go through the adversity he did, it was just a huge boost for our club. I’ve never even played with him until tonight, right? (laughs) I don’t even know what he’s capable of. But I know the kind of guy he is and how hard he works and I know the setbacks that he’s had. These are one of those nights where it’s just a really good feeling for the group and you’re so happy for him.

Reimer, on how good it feels to play in home province Manitoba and play so well too:

Home province, more so even just in front of your friends and family. These are the people that got you to where you are. You don’t get to the NHL by yourself. You get there by so much love and support and encouragement.
That practice time when you’re 12 years old on the outdoor ice. It’s special to play in front of your friends and family.

See David Quinn’s interview here

David Quinn, on Knyzhov’s return performance:

He looked really good. Looked like a pro. He looks like an NHL’er. He’s got the size. He’s fluid. It’s got pretty good poise with the puck. I really liked what I saw tonight.

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