All-Star Game Weekend: Doughty, Fleury, Gibson and more

The San Jose Sharks’ most memorable moments during the All-Star Skills competition weren’t in competition.

Erik Karlsson finished second to last in the Premier Passer contest. Brent Burns’s first shot actually missed the net, but he did wind up as the runner-up in Hardest Shot with a 100.6 blast. Joe Pavelski finished fourth in Accuracy Shooting.

But for the Sharks and their fans, and especially Burns and Pavelski, it was an unforgettable night.

Sie Morley has more insight about what Auston Matthews’s tribute to Patrick Marleau might mean to Sharks fans here.

It was more of the same for the Sharks during the actual All-Star Game, in terms of on-ice performance. While Karlsson scored two goals and Burns added another, the Pacific squad was dispatched by the Central 10-4.

That game was highlighted by a surprisingly vicious San Jose crowd that razzed John Gibson for surrendering seven goals on nine shots in the first period. SAP Center resounded with “Ducks sucks” and “We want Fleury” chants.

With that mind, I asked Drew Doughty, Marc-Andre Fleury and John Gibson about the booing. I also asked Kris Letang about San Jose’s “love” for him.

Finally, I caught up with Doughty to learn if he’s friends with Logan Couture again and Fleury talked snow walls. I also added some of the highlights from Karlsson, Burns and Pavelski’s post-Skills and Game press conferences.

Drew Doughty (post-Skills)

Fear the Fin: So are you and Logan Couture friends again?

Drew Doughty: Yeah, yeah. You know, it’s crazy. Me and Logs are so competitive that we both don’t want to lose to each other so bad. It did kind of hurt our relationship for a little bit there.

But we’re almost 30 years old now. We decided to put it by us, go back to the way we were. I’m glad we could do that.

Reporter: Did you guys stop talking or something?

DD: We still talked. We never stopped talking. We definitely weren’t talking as much as we had in the past. We were still cordial. We love the game so much, we hate losing, sometimes that happens.

Reporter: You seem to feed off the reaction that you get in this building. You’re kind of taken the mantle from Chris Pronger.

DD: I love playing in this building. Just because it’s so loud. I like being the guy they don’t want to do well. I feed off the energy.

Drew Doughty (post-Game)

Fear the Fin: What can you say about Gibson’s performance? He’s now more unpopular in San Jose than you, Fleury and Tavares combined.

Drew Doughty: Ah, we left him out to dry. Breakaways, 2-on-1’s. We’re usually on the other side of it. It was a different one this time.

Reporter: What’s that like to be on the ice in that kind of situation?

DD: We were laughing, but I think we were laughing because we were so embarrassed. We were playing so bad.

It sucked. When they were doing that to Gibson, we were even more pissed off. Felt bad for him, it wasn’t his fault.

Reporter: It was still seven goals on nine shots.

DD: Still, they’re 2-on-1’s. I’d like to see you try to save some 2-on-1’s. (laughs) Backdoor tap-ins all night.

Marc-Andre Fleury (post-Game)

Reporter: Did you have any words of encouragement for Gibson between periods?

Marc-Andre Fleury: Keep it up, bud.

Reporter: That’s encouraging?

Fear the Fin: Keep what up?

MAF: No, not that way. (laughs)

FTF: What was your reaction when the crowd was chanting “We want Fleury”?

MAF: I get booed until this time. (laughs) Big emotions, right? Up and down. I’ve been in John’s shoes. I think Columbus had the All-Star game and I got booed and people were yelling to get me out of there.

Reporter: You gave a wave to the crowd after their Bronx cheer on your first save?

MAF: (laughs) I just wanted to say thank you.

Marc-Andre Fleury (post-Skills)

Fear the Fin: Did it surprise you to be booed so vigorously during introductions?

Marc-Andre Fleury: I guess yes and no. We have a good rivalry with the Sharks, beat them in the playoffs last year. It’s well deserved. (laughs)

FTF: Did you see Lundqvist rubbing the posts there, stealing your move?

MAF: He did?! I didn’t see that.

FTF: Does that make you feel like the posts are cheating on you?

MAF: We’re gonna have a little talk tomorrow.

Marc-Andre Fleury (pre-Skills)

Fear the Fin: You play in one of the loudest arenas in the West, T-Mobile Arena. San Jose also has one of the louder buildings. T-Mobile is more of a dance club-like atmosphere, while SAP is more old-school hockey. How are they different on the ice for you?

Marc-Andre Fleury: I like playing in both places. I always like when it’s loud, the crowd’s into it, the music’s loud. It’s easier to be in the game. Both buildings are loud and fun. The playoffs last season were fun, right? But I think Vegas is the best arena to play in.

FTF: Tell me about the snow wall you made in Winnipeg a couple weeks ago. Was that just spontaneous?

MAF: I should’ve made my walls a little stronger. The puck just went through it. It was just spontaneous. I was going back to the net, there was some snow in my way. I thought I’d put it in there. You never know, right? It didn’t work out. (laughs)

(Fear the Fin note: Fleury followed up this question by making a wall during the Skills Competition)

Reporter: How do you like playing in this building? What are your favorite memories?

MAF: Winning a Cup here was nice. But I was on the bench for it. Last year’s playoffs was my best memory here. The building was loud and they had such a good team.

John Gibson

Reporter: Looking forward to your next visit to San Jose, frustrate the fans in a different way?

John Gibson: (laughs) I don’t think we’re coming back here.

Fear the Fin: How does it feel like to now be even more unpopular than Doughty in this building?

JG: It is what it is. I learned from Corey Perry, I guess.

Kris Letang

Fear the Fin: Does the San Jose’s crowd booing feel good because it’s a reminder of what you did to them?

Kris Letang: (laughs) It’s a reminder. But at the end of the day, it just makes it fun for us to come and play here. Be in front of fans who are so committed to their team. It’s a good booing.

Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson, Joe Pavelski (post-Game)

Erik Karlsson: It’s been a while since I’ve scored, so I was happy about that.

Reporter: What’s surprised you about the San Jose hockey community?

EK: I was surprised about the Bay Area in general, how many sports fans we have, Sharks fans, that was something I didn’t know. I think this weekend just reiterated that. It’s been a pleasant surprise.

Reporter: How has Bay Area hockey grown in your time here, Joe?

Joe Pavelski: The Shark Tank has [always] been loud & awesome to play in. I haven’t really seen that change over the course of the years. I got a kid playing youth hockey, there’s not that much available ice time.

Reporter: Do you want to keep the good thing going here in San Jose?

EK: I’m enjoying every moment. But this weekend, I’m not going to speak about the future. I’ve enjoyed every second here, we have a great team.

Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson, Joe Pavelski (post-Skills)

Reporter: This is a question for you, Joe. You were drafted in 2003. Can you talk about how the fanbase has grown?

Erik Karlsson, to Joe Pavelski: 2003? How old are you? I thought you were 25.

Reporter: What did you think of Auston Matthews’s tribute to Patrick Marleau?

JP: I absolutely loved it. I looked at Brent, we gotta get a picture with him. We probably should’ve turned him around. We just wanted the back. (laughs) It was pretty cool. Patty means a lot to just about everybody’s who come through this organization.

Reporter: Erik, are you a fan of Swedish death metal?

EK: I listen to it. Sometimes in private, since guys over here really don’t understand it. We got one guy in team, Aaron Dell, he loves it too. We listen to it together.

Fear the Fin: Erik, seeing Joe and Brent’s kids out there, and also, seeing Jagger come out of the Shark Head a couple weeks ago, what does that say about Doug Wilson’s commitment to family here?

EK: Yeah, I think it’s awesome. That’s the way it should be. You want to share these experiences with the people you love. This entire organization is very into that. That’s something to me, means a lot. Having the kids around is energizing and great.