April 25, 2016 By Paul Gackle

Rink Notes: Sharks Take Advantage of Two-Day Break From Hockey

SAN JOSE — Usually, a break from hockey at this time of year means the season is over and it’s time to start looking for tee times.

Suffice the say, the Sharks were pleased to receive two-full days away from the rink over the weekend with their Stanley Cup dreams in tact.

After eliminating the Los Angeles Kings from the first-round of the Stanley Cup playoffs on Friday, the Sharks received two days off and they tried to use the break as opportunity to turn the mind off of hockey for 48 hours.

Joe Pavelski and Joel Ward used the break to take in the San Francisco Giants 7-2 win over the Miami Marlins at AT&T Park on Saturday.

“You’re always thinking about hockey,” said Pavelski, who was caught on camera decked out in Giants gear with his wife and child.

“Not as much [at the ballpark]. I was enjoying the hot dog I had. It was just nice to get out and see a different park, a different atmosphere.”

Ward also attended the Giants game, but he didn’t wind up making it into the postgame highlight packages like the Sharks captain, who scored five goals in five games against the Kings.

“I was too busy crushing peanuts with salt all over my face,” Ward said.

As Pavelski attempted to take his mind away from the rink at the Giants game, alternate captain Logan Couture took the weekend as opportunity to consume more hockey.

“I don’t think I left my couch for more than two hours,” he said. “It was nice to rest and watch some hockey.”

While the players received a couple of days to relax, head coach Peter DeBoer didn’t give himself or his staff the same luxury.

“Unfortunately, right now, our staff is preparing for two different teams, so it’s double the work,” he said. “It’s nice for the players to relax, but the coaching staff doesn’t get the same thing.”

Couch Surfing: After two days off, the Sharks expect to be locked into hockey on Monday night.

With the Anaheim Ducks leading their first-round series with the Nashville Predators 3-2 heading into Monday’s Game 6, the Sharks could know who their second round opponent will be by the end of the night.

“We’ll definitely keep an eye on it,” Pavelski said.

DeBoer said he and his staff will watch the game at the team’s practice facilities and then go to work on developing a game plan if the Ducks close out the Predators.

“We’ve got to get this information to these guys tomorrow because it could start as early, I’m guessing, as Thursday or Friday,” DeBoer said.

Would the Sharks coach prefer the Ducks or the Predators?

“There’s two schools of thought, right?” he said. “You’d like to know [your opponent], so you can get really dialed in, and the second thing, you always want the series of the team you’re playing to go as long as possible.”

While most of the Sharks will be tuned in, at least one member of the team knows where his priorities lie.

“I don’t know if I’ll watch the whole thing,” Ward said. “I kind of missed the Game of Thrones season premiere, so I’ve got to recap and watch that, I think.”

Tennyson Rejoins Sharks: Defenseman Matt Tennyson rejoined the Sharks at practice on Monday after completing a three-game conditioning assignment with the AHL Barracuda.

Tennyson missed the last 24 games of the Sharks season after suffering a head injury against the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 22.

“It was nice to get some games under my belt to make sure I’m good to go and be ready if they need me,” Tennyson said.

The 25-year-old blue liner suffered the head injury after taking an illegal hit to the head from Blues forward Ryan Reaves, who received a three-game suspension from the NHL department of player safety for the play.

In three games with the Barracuda, Tennyson recorded six shots on goal and produced a plus-two rating.

“Coming off an injury like that, you don’t really know what to expect,” Tennyson said. “You can do the bag skates and workouts as much you want, but nothing compares to playing in a game. Getting back into it, getting a couple hits in, and mentally, making sure you’re alright. It was good. No problems.”

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