SAN JOSE — For the first time during training camp, the Sharks practiced the power play and penalty kill on Monday.
“I think the goal of our training camp was to get all our systems introduced from our own end, into the other end, [and] including special teams,” Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer said.
“It’s an awful lot in three days. You try and condense it as much as possible and simplify it. There’s no way around it. We want to throw everything at it so that at least everyone’s seen it once before the games start tomorrow night, and then we’ll start chipping away at some of the details as we go forward.”
The power play was among the league’s best last season, ranking second in power play percentage, as well as the top 10 in generating shots (8th in shots per 60 minutes, according to Corsica Hockey) and shot attempts (10th in shot attempts per 60).
The penalty kill, on the other hand, was not.
San Jose killed 80.5% of its penalties in 2015-16, which ranked 21st in the league. That ranking does not necessarily paint the whole picture, according to DeBoer.
“I felt our [penalty kill] was better than that. I think we had some stretches last year where when it went bad, it went bad,” Deboer said of the penalty kill, which went through four stretches of allowing power play goals in three-or-more consecutive games, two of which came in the season’s first 13 games.
“I think that affected our numbers, so we’ve got to stop the bleeding a little bit quicker this year.”
Despite finishing in the bottom half of the league in penalty kill percentage, as well as shot suppression (19th in shots against per 60 minutes) last year, don’t expect the Sharks’ penalty kill to look that much different this season.
“For the most part, the identity of our penalty kill is going to be the same,” forward Matt Nieto said after the Sharks worked on special teams for the first time at training camp on Monday.
“If we bear down and stick to what works and just execute, I think we’ll be fine.”
Pete DeBoer knows who’s playing tomorrow
The Sharks have already set their lineup for tomorrow night’s first preseason game against the Vancouver Canucks, according to head coach Pete DeBoer.
Matt Nieto said he believes he is playing tomorrow, and while DeBoer did not disclose his full lineup, he did disclose one player that will not play: Timo Meier, who missed his second straight practice on Monday, and will not draw into the lineup as a result.
“I talked to him this morning,” DeBoer said. “I thought it was just going to be a 24-hour thing, but it’s kind of extended.”
“We’ll call it 48 hours.”
DeBoer said that he expects Meier will practice tomorrow.
Quote of the Day
Matt Nieto, on if it’s weird practicing special teams with the World Cup of Hockey contingent still missing: