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Vlasic Looking for Offense, Labanc Stronger & Faster, Sorensen’s Confidence

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Here’s a recap of yesterday at San Jose Sharks’ training camp!

There were a couple intriguing changes to the camp groups:

Radim Simek himself supplied the news today, revealing that he’s not 100 percent. He’s still participating in training camp — he was paired with Brinson Pasichnuk today — but his knee (again) is clearly an issue that’s weighing him down.

“I’m trying to do my best,” Simek said of his camp so far, “but sometimes, it’s so hard for me.”

Simek on Injury “Roller Coaster”? Boughner Doesn’t Think So

Also, the NHL revealed its start times. Here are a couple key San Jose Sharks start times:

Besides Simek, we also spoke with Bob Boughner, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Kevin Labanc, and Marcus Sorensen.

Vlasic Looking for More Offense

33-year-old Marc-Edouard Vlasic isn’t talking like a defenseman in decline.

Yesterday, he touched on vying for Team Canada’s 2022 Olympic team — granted, the 2014 Olympian is not going to say that he’s not going for the team — and spoke of increasing his offensive production.

“With the new system, I think I can create more offensively,” Vlasic said, referring to Boughner’s mandate that his defensemen attack more in the offensive zone. “I’ve had many years with 30-plus points. I had a year with 11 goals. I can contribute offensively. I think playing with Karl, that will help my game offensively. I can help both our games defensively.”

If Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns start the season together on the top power play unit and Ryan Merkley doesn’t make the team, Vlasic is also a second power play unit candidate.

Speaking of Karlsson, Vlasic will be paired with the two-time Norris Trophy winner again. While there’s some perception that the pairing has had its ups and downs, Vlasic doesn’t buy it:

“It’s gone well. We know each other pretty well. We get along on the ice, get along off the ice. I think we can both help each other’s game offensively and defensively.”

Labanc Also Stronger, Faster

Count Kevin Labanc as another “best shape of his life” candidate.

The 25-year-old offered yesterday: “I definitely feel faster. I’ve been putting in the time and the work in the gym and on the ice.

“Being in the gym for nine months, you definitely get bigger and stronger. I definitely feel it on the ice.”

Sorensen’s “Confidence Is Good Now”

Marcus Sorensen laughed.

“My first game, I played 28 minutes,” Sorensen said, talking about his recent sojourn playing for Allsvenskan’s HC Vita Hasten.

Of course, Sorensen won’t play nearly as much with the San Jose Sharks, but he is in line for a critical role. After Barclay Goodrow’s departure last year, Sorensen was elevated to first-choice penalty killer along with Melker Karlsson. Now Karlsson is gone, Sorensen and free agent signing Matt Nieto might be first up on the PK.

“I feel confident in coming in this season and taking a big role,” Sorensen offered.

Speaking of confidence, Sorensen admitted that last year — he slumped to seven goals after a breakout 17-goal campaign in 2018-19 — was a mental challenge.

“For sure, when things don’t work out as you want them to, the confidence goes down,” he said. “My confidence is good now.”

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Alaskan_ice

I hope Labanc earns his contract. He has the tools. Now that Jimbo is gone, it’s time to lean on Couture and Hertl. This team could do some damage.

Go Sharks!!

Alaskan_ice

I meant Jumbo.

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