Two days from his 20th birthday, Ryan Merkley spoke candidly about a variety of topics, from why he would “coast” on the ice when he was younger, how many sticks he’d break a year out of frustration in his more immature days, and the darker side of being a teenage hockey celebrity in Canada.
But it wasn’t all gloom and doom — the perpetually chipper Merkley also revealed some of what’s in Brent Burns’s backpack and why he wants to go shark diving.
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In other San Jose Sharks news…
Nick Nollenberger catches up with Barracuda forward Evan Weinger, who was recently loaned to TPS Turku in Finland. (San Jose Barracuda)
Around the NHL…
One under-the-radar player on the Brayden Point (21) 5OT goal was Mikhail Sergachev (98) — Sergachev came down the wall to set a soft pick on Riley Nash (20), which bought Point a fraction of time and space. Then Sergachev got low and bumped Alexandre Texier (42) off in a race to the loose puck in the middle of ice, which set up the goalscoring sequence.
Jim Rutherford spanks the Penguins in his post-mortem, targeting Justin Schultz and the power play in particular. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Rod Brind’Amour expects Dougie Hamilton to return for the Carolina Hurricanes in Game One. (Boston Hockey Now)
Is it a problem that the Avs are a “quieter” team? (Colorado Hockey Now)
Islanders don’t expect a Play-in boost versus Caps. (NYI Hockey Now)
All the records broken in the Lightning-Blue Jackets 5OT thriller. (NHL)
Wild GM Bill Guerin went after the goaltending in his port-mortem, which might spell trouble for former San Jose Sharks fan favorite Alex Stalock. (The Athletic)
Elliotte Friedman on how Kyle Dubas might re-shape the Maple Leafs. (Sportsnet)
Mark Scheifele doesn’t believe Matt Tkachuk had malicious intent when Tkachuk took him out with his skate blade in Game One of Winnipeg-Calgary — luckily, the Jets center also avoided significant injury. (TSN)
Sheng’s Travel Fund
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