“Veteran guys who have been around for a while,” Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said. “I think they’re a quicker team than the [Los Angeles Kings] and can create more offensively.”
“I would assume it’ll be more fast-paced, more open hockey,” Fleury said. “I think L.A. played well defensively, but maybe they didn’t create more offensively. With these guys, you’ve got to play a little more up and down.”
It won’t be easy for the Sharks, as Vegas allowed only 3 goals in a 4-game sweep of the Los Angeles Kings in the 1st round.
“We have to make sure, with our defensemen, that we do the same thing we did with L.A.: tightening our gaps and limiting their speed,” Vegas defenseman Nate Schmidt said.
One of the keys for Vegas will be to neutralize defenseman Brent Burns.
“He’s been a really good weapon for them in the [offensive] zone,” Golden Knights forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare said.
The Golden Knights have won their fair share of tight games, but their offense has been a concern. Nonetheless, the team is looking at the victories in the tight games as a benefit.
“Just knowing you have that in your game,” Schmidt said.
“And knowing that [Fleury] is back there, that’s the all-time calming factor. It’s helped us because we haven’t been in that situation most of the year. It’s not good to have it until the playoffs, but good to have success with it in the playoffs.”
Sharks’ Erik Karlsson Feels Senators Would Have Traded Him Even If He Signed New Contract
San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson is still dealing with the recent trade that sent him from the Ottawa Senators to San Jose, and feels that even if he had accepted the Sens’ contract offer, they would have still traded him.
“I don’t think it ever got to the point where I had an option to sign anything,” Karlsson said, during an interview with Sportsnet’s Christine Simpson. “It never even got close to that, and even if I would have signed, they probably would have traded me anyways, and I would have been somewhere else.”
“They had me traded in February already at the (trade) deadline,” Karlsson continued. “We were told we were pretty much gone, and that was very tough to hear.”
Karlsson said that Senators general manager Pierre Dorion informed him that a trade was imminent just before the start of training camp.
“(He) called me in the morning and told me not to come into camp (on) the first day, and that’s when I probably realized that it was going to go down pretty quickly.”
Sharks’ Joe Thornton Expects to Be Back at Full Strength
San Jose Sharks star Joe Thornton, who is coming off his second straight season with a major knee injury, is confident that he will be back to 100% this season for San Jose, and is feeling pretty good as the 2018-2019 regular season is on the horizon.
“I feel good” Thornton admitted, according to The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz.
“I know my birth certificate says 39, but I think not playing a full 82 games and playoffs last year, my body feels really, really good and I feel healthy. It’s kind of like a lockout year for myself, you get time to refocus and finally train a little bit and go again. I’m real excited for the year… I think when I’m out there I dictate the play. It doesn’t matter who I play against, I usually dictate the play. I’ve had that criticism for 22 years. I think I’ve kept up pretty good.”
Thornton will have to show he still has it after tearing the MCL and ACL ligaments in his right knee last season, after doing so in his left knee in the 2016-2017 season.
Sharks, Logan Couture Agree To 8-Year, $64 Million Extension
The San Jose Sharks are ensuring that their longtime player stays on the team for many years to come as the Sharks agree to terms with Logan Couture on an eight-year, $64 million contract extension, according to ESPN.
Couture, who was a first-round pick by San Jose back in 2007, is entering the final year of a five-year, $30 million deal and now will be under contract through the 2026-27 season.
Couture, 29, has said that he never wants to leave the organization, and has collected 213 goals and 224 assists in 582 career games.
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