SAN JOSE -- The Sharks' three NHL All-Star Game representatives were in good spirits Saturday night when they took the podium for their final media scrum of the weekend, despite their Pacific Division team being smoked 10-4 by the Central to open tournament play.
"The crowd was awesome. It was good energy," Brent Burns said, before fellow defenseman Erik Karlsson interrupted with a light-hearted "terrible outcome!" To which the media had a good chuckle.
Burns and Karlsson, along with forward Joe Pavelski, did their part in the three-on-three tournament by notching two points apiece. The Sharks-centric SAP Center crowd grew a bit quiet when the Central jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but Karlsson brought them back to life when he scored the first of his two goals on a breakaway.
"It's been a while since I scored, so I was happy with that," he said with a smile. "It was fun."
Sharks fans likely were happy to see Karlsson using his wheels again, given that he missed the last three regular-season Sharks games before the break with an undisclosed injury. There even was some speculation that he might not be able to participate in the All-Star festivities in front of his home fans.
Karlsson kept relatively mum Saturday when reporters asked if his health could've kept him from participating in NHL All-Star Weekend.
"We discussed it," Karlsson said. "But being here in San Jose, I think it's important when you get the opportunity to participate like I did. It felt like it was something I wanted to do."
The two-time Norris Trophy winner, who logged 7:09 minutes of ice time Saturday, kept the mood light. He mostly focused on how much he enjoys playing in the All-Star Game -- this was his sixth -- and how much he wanted to represent the Sharks in the contest.
"I know how much it means for this organization, this fan base and this community, and I was happy I was able to do it," he said, before adding that he'll "get a few more days here now, and then hopefully be back after the break."
When asked about what was coming up after that break -- mainly contract negotiations that could decide his future in San Jose -- Karlsson chose to focus on the present.
"I'm enjoying every moment," he said. "I've enjoyed every second here. We have a great team, and I'm excited for the last 30 games here."
That stretch doesn't start until next Saturday, when the Sharks host the Arizona Coyotes, so Karlsson will have time to rest up.