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Thứ Bảy, 21 tháng 12, 2013

Alex Stalock excited about first start at SAP, and the mysterious line ... - San Jose Mercury News (blog)

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SAN JOSE – Goaltender Alex Stalock will get his first career start at home Saturday when the Sharks play the Dallas Stars to begin a two-game homestand before the Christmas break.


“He’s been able to go out and provide energy for our team, not only in the games that he plays but in practice situations,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said of Stalock. “Players have a tendency to play for him, but it’s about him getting his chance to go again.”


Stalock has a 3-1 record in six games this season with a 2.06 goals against average and a .930 save percentage. Stalock’s last start came Dec. 6 in a 4-3 loss at Carolina, as Antti Niemi has been in the San Jose net for the last six games.


“You obviously don’t want to be comfortable with this role, everyone’s ultimate goal is to play in this league,” Stalock said. “That’s still my goal, but to stay sharp, you have to be at your best in practice and that’s what I try to do.”


McLellan was tight-lipped about potential line combinations for tonight’s games, and there wasn’t much to glean from the morning skate as Logan Couture, Marty Havlat, Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski did not participate. All are expected to play, however.


Friday’s practice had Joe Thornton skating with Marleau and Pavelski, and McLellan said Saturday that guys who normally don’t fill top 6 roles will get that opportunity.


“Where we’re at right now with our game, we’re not playing at a high enough level to win consistently, and that’s shown in the wins and losses that we’ve accumulated over the past couple weeks,” McLellan said. “So the level of play for everybody has to go up, then after that, we have to find combinations that we think will work.


“Coaches will say all the time this gives others an opportunity to step up and assume more, but that’s what we say before it happens. While its happening, we want to see players evolve. We want to see more from players who maybe haven’t been out in those situations before, be it power plays, and we when we find that individual, or individuals, we’ll reward them with that.”







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