Brad Staubitz Took A Turn On The Blueline

With San Jose Temporarily Shorthanded, Staubitz Skates With The Defensemen

Friday, 01.29.2010 / 6:33 PM / News
By San Jose Sharks Staff
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Brad Staubitz Took A Turn On The Blueline
Friday morning when the Sharks took to the ice for a short practice at HP Pavilion, Brad Staubitz got to have a little fun for the day. As the Sharks were down to just five defenders for practice, Staubitz stepped in to his original hockey role and played alongside Rob Blake for drills.

“I liked him at D,” Blake said. “Once you play D, you never forget it.”

There’s no guarantee Staubitz can quickly regain his membership in the defensemen’s union though.

“He wants to be part of the D really bad,” Dan Boyle said with a smile. “I just don’t know. This is a hard group to crack.”

Staubitz laughed about finding his roots and that it was like stepping back in time to when he originally signed with the Sharks.

“I’m a born-again,” he said with a big smile.

The reason Staubitz was on the backend was Marc-Edouard Vlasic missed much of the last game and was held out of practice to be further evaluated for an injury (Coach Todd McLellan already noted that Vlasic would be fine).

Staubitz enjoyed the rigors of practice and the refresher course on the blueline for the odd occasion he would play there again in a game.

“Practice was upbeat and it was a nice little change of pace,” Staubitz said. “It gives you a different look of the game.”

It had been a while since Staubitz played with the defensemen as he’s been a forward during McLellan’s tenure.

“I played D last year for a shift or two here and in Worcester last year,” Staubitz said. “Before the last year-and- a- half, I had been a defenseman my whole life.”

Should Staubitz get the call in the spot on Saturday, he would welcome it with open arms.

“Just wherever they want me to fill in, I’m happy,” Staubitz said.

From the player’s perspective, each position has its positives.

“On point shots you get to blast it for a tip,” said Staubitz of the backend. “Forward is more fun and you get to be more offensive and creative. I think forwards have an easier time getting the big hits. It’s nice being able to hunt a D-man instead of being attacked. You know what he’s thinking when he hears those footsteps.”

As for a preference?

“I’d like to be able to play both regularly. That would be a goal of mine,” Staubitz said.

However, there are no thoughts of playing in net.

“Goalie? No,” Staubitz said emphatically. “I’m not weird enough.”

JUGGLE
The Sharks coaching staff had its hands full against Chicago since Vlasic played just 7:25 against the Blackhawks on Thursday night. San Jose simply juggled the time of the other five defensemen.

“The rotation is easier with six guys instead of five,” Blake said.

There are times though when even if the club is healthy, five blueliners will be used at crunch time.

“’Pickles’ went down and the D did a good job of handling the minutes,” Boyle said.

Boyle had the birds-eye view for part of the game as he watched from the press box.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been up there (in the press box),” Boyle said. “That’s a good thing. You definitely see the game from a different angle.”

No decision has been made on whether Boyle or Vlasic will return for Saturday’s game with Minnesota.

“Every day it gets better,” Boyle said. “I’m not ready to give the green light. If I can go, I’ll be playing.”

While there are no guarantees for either Boyle or Vlasic’s return, the prognosis doesn’t look long term for either player.

“’Pickles’ will be fine,” McLellan said. “He’ll be reviewed today and we’ll see how he and Boyle are for tomorrow.”

SHORTER
Friday’s practice time was more along the lines of what the Sharks will experience going down the stretch.

“35-40 minutes is pretty much the standard for the amount of hockey we’ve played,” McLellan said.

OPPONENT
No NHL coach will cheer for an opponent at their own expense, but after a slow start for new Wild Head Coach Todd Richards, McLellan is glad his former San Jose assistant has the Wild playing better.

“We have some ties to the Minnesota Wild with Todd Richards,” McLellan said. “(Assistant Coach) Matt (Shaw) and I came from the Wild and know their younger players.”

CHANGES
San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has reassigned forward Logan Couture and defenseman Jason Demers to the Worcester Sharks, the team’s top development affiliate in the American Hockey League.

Couture has two points (one goal, one assist) in 12 games with the Sharks this season.

With Worcester, Couture leads the team in scoring with 44 points (18 goals, 26 assists) in 32 games and a plus-13 rating. He leads all AHL rookies in points and is T-8th among all AHL players.

Demers has played in 39 games with San Jose, posting 16 points (two goals, 14 assists) and a plus-9 rating.

In eight games with Worcester, Demers has six points (two goals, four assists) and a plus-seven rating.

NEXT GAME
San Jose will play hosts to Minnesota Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can be found at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com. The contest will be on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 82 41 38 23 79
J. Thornton 82 11 65 20 76
P. Marleau 82 33 37 0 70
L. Couture 65 23 31 21 54
B. Burns 69 22 26 26 48
T. Wingels 77 16 22 11 38
D. Boyle 75 12 24 -8 36
J. Demers 75 5 29 14 34
T. Hertl 37 15 10 11 25
M. Nieto 66 10 14 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Stalock 12 5 2 .932 1.87
A. Niemi 39 17 7 .913 2.39
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