Sharks

Clowe: 'There's time' to make a deal

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Clowe: 'There's time' to make a deal

Yes, there are worse things to be than a locked out NHL hockey player.

Take San Jose Sharks Ryane Clowe and Brent Burns, for example the pair continued its tour of professional Bay Area stadiums on Tuesday night by taking in the Giants-Rockies game at AT&T Park after witnessing the 49ers dominant victory together on Sunday night at Candlestick.

But first, they were gracious enough to swing by the set of Comcast SportsNets Chronicle Live. Obviously, the first topic they addressed was the ugly labor battle between the NHL and the NHLPA, which is threatening the start if not the entire 2012-13 season.

Clowe, who voiced his optimism last week before the expiration of the last CBA on Saturday, somewhat surprisingly kept that same tone with host Dave Feldman.

I think Im very optimistic. I think most guys are. The season obviously hasnt officially started as far as missing games or anything yet. We still think theres time, he said.

Its definitely frustrating right now. We feel bad for the fans who are in a bit of a holding pattern, and dont know whats going to happen. We feel optimistic. Everyone is kind of working out and skating on their own right now, and trying to stay ready.

Burns, who, along with Clowe is one of several locked out Sharks that are skating on their own at the teams practice facility, said: Its frustrating for everybody right now, but for us youve got to stay in shape and stay optimistic that it will get done, and when it does get done were ready to go.

With the league shut down, several Sharks are already on their way to Europe, including Logan Couture and Joe Thornton (Switzerland); Jason Demers (Finland) and Michal Handzus (Slovakia).

RELATED: Couture, Thornton among Sharks headed overseas

For now, Clowe is staying put in the hopes that the labor battle ends quickly.

I think you get serious after a month or so when it looks like this might be dragged on, but like I said, most guys dont think it will be that long, he said. Im not in a rush right now to go anywhere. I feel like as of right now, youre in shape and ready as if training camp was going to start, so you dont need to really go get in game shape.

Burns is also sticking around, but for a different reason the defenseman said that hes currently rehabbing, although did not specify what sort of injury hes rehabbing from. At the end of the season, Burns was listed on the teams injury report as having lower abdominal discomfort.

It sounds as if the eight-year NHL veteran would welcome the chance to go overseas if he gets healthy and the lockout continues, though.

For me, my kids are young enough where I think its a great opportunity to go and see part of the world that you maybe not get to go to, he told the San Jose Mercury News Mark Purdy. I think as players, we just want to play.

Clowe and Burns both think that the next few days are critical in the labor process, as its not expected the league will cancel any regular season games until the end of September. The Sharks are scheduled to begin on Oct. 12 in Anaheim, while the scheduled start of training camp on Sep. 21 will come and go.

I think the important time is coming up now, and thats when labor talks are going to have to take off, Burns said.

Clowe echoed Feldmans assessment that the game has grown in leaps and bounds since the previous lockout when the entire 2004-05 season was canceled.

Thats why I think most people are optimistic. You feel like theres too much to lose right now, he said. Eventually, something will get done. Right now, they could be a little bit far apart, but we need to get some talks going and get some traction. We feel like that will happen soon.

Sharks win second straight, beat Devils to start road trip

Sharks win second straight, beat Devils to start road trip

BOX SCORE

NEWARK, N.J. — Martin Jones made 28 saves for his first shutout of the season and 16th overall in the San Jose Sharks' 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

Melker Karlsson, Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi scored and Justin Braun had two assists to help the Sharks open a five-game East Coast trip.

Keith Kinkaid, the top goalie for New Jersey with Cory Schneider on injured reserve, stopped 30 shots as the Devils' three-game winning streak came to an end.

The Devils couldn't muster a strong push in the later stages against the rested Sharks. It was New Jersey's second game two nights following a 5-4 overtime victory in Ottawa. And it showed against the Sharks, who played a solid road game, pressed their advantage and solidly supported Jones.

Karlsson scored the lone goal of the opening period at 14:11 on a close-in shot following a slick behind-the-net setup pass from Tomas Hertl.

The shots were 13 for each team in the evenly played period. The Devils came close on several occasions as former Shark Mirco Mueller and Blake Coleman both hit the crossbar and Jones robbed Drew Stafford on a dead-on drive from the slot.

Pavelski and Donskoi got second-period goals as the Sharks steadily tightened their grip on the game.

Pavelski tipped in Braun's point shot at 5:49. Joe Thornton got the second assist, his 1,395th point, to pass Luc Robitaille for 21st on the career list.

Donskoi backhanded a rebound shot with 1:10 left in the period in which the Sharks outshot the Devils 11-6.

The remaining drama centered on Jones' shutout bid.

NOTES: The Devils placed Schneider on injured reserve Friday with a lower-body injury and recalled Scott Wedgewood from Binghamton of the American Hockey League to serve as Kinkaid's backup. ... Mueller, a healthy scratch in three of the previous four games, returned for the Devils to face the Sharks, the team that drafted him in the first round, for the first time. He was dealt to New Jersey over the summer.

UP NEXT

Sharks: At the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

Devils: Host Ottawa on Friday night.

As Joakim Ryan returns home, Sharks reunite with a former top prospect

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AP

As Joakim Ryan returns home, Sharks reunite with a former top prospect

When Joakim Ryan suits up in his first NHL road game against the New Jersey Devils Friday night, he’ll do so in a familiar place.

Ryan, a New Jersey-born Swede, played for the Devils’ youth program and nearby Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) in high school. In fact, he’s already played at the Prudential Center, skating in the state championship game with CBA in 2009.

He’s not the only one due for something of a homecoming, as the Sharks may see a familiar face line up on the opposing blueline.

This is the Sharks’ first matchup against New Jersey since trading 2013 first round pick Mirco Mueller ahead of June’s Expansion Draft. Mueller was once considered the future on the San Jose blueline, a smooth-skating defenseman with size to boot.

The Swiss defender never fulfilled his potential, in part because his development was rushed from the start. He made the NHL roster as a rookie in 2014-15, almost by default. Other than Marc-Edouard Vlasic, the only defensemen ahead of him on left side of the depth chart were a far past-his-prime Scott Hannan and regular scratch Matt Irwin. Such was the nature of the Sharks’ “step back” that year.

Mueller finally got regular playing time, albeit in the minors, during his second professional season. By then, he was pushed down the organizational depth chart by the team’s acquisitions of Brenden Dillon and Roman Polak, and the development of Dylan DeMelo. David Schlemko’s signing last summer kept Mueller there for most of 2016-17, but it was Ryan and Tim Heed that ensured Mueller’s NHL future would lie elsewhere. The Swedes surpassed him, and emerged as perhaps the AHL’s best defensive pair in the process.

It’s fitting, then, that Ryan and Heed will be in the lineup tonight, and Mueller may not, as the fresh start he needed hasn’t quite panned out. He’s averaging a career-high 18:44 in ice time, but has been scratched in three of New Jersey’s seven games, including Thursday night’s overtime win in Ottawa.

So Ryan comes home to New Jersey under much happier circumstances than Mueller will reunite with the Sharks. One prodigal son returns, and the other is simply trying to save face.

It’s still early in his Devils tenure, of course, and Mueller may yet emerge as a regular on the New Jersey blueline. His Sharks reunion, though, will serve as a reminder of what once was, what could have been, and what is now San Jose’s future on defense.