Programming note: Bruins-Sharks coverage begins Saturday at 7 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California
SAN JOSE – Adam Burish may not have played a game yet this year, but his mouth is in midseason form.
Burish, who has resumed skating with the team recently while recovering from back surgery, was loudly heard giving rookie Matt Nieto a good-natured ribbing after the team skated on Friday at Sharks Ice.
It’s safe to assume that he wants to get back in game action as soon as possible, where he’s known to get under the skin of opposing players with both his chirping skills and his style of play.
“It’s fun for me. It’s encouraging, and kind of gets me excited again,” Burish said of practicing with his teammates. “I don’t have a date, I don’t have a time, it’s just I’m going to keep progressing and doing what I can do.”
Burish was hurt in the Sharks’ preseason opener in Vancouver on Sep. 16, on a hit from the Canucks’ Tom Sestito. He tried playing through the back injury before surgery was deemed necessary.
Since it’s a weird season schedule-wise, as the Sharks and the rest of the NHL will shut down for three weeks for the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, the 31-year-old forward and the team's medical staff has a decision to make. Should Burish try and get in some games before the break begins on Feb. 8, or is he better off waiting until the first game back on Feb. 27 in Philadelphia?
He can’t answer that just yet.
“It’s a tough call. What do you do? It can go both ways. Raffi [Torres] is in that same boat, and he and I talk about it all the time,” Burish said. “What’s the best thing to do? Nobody knows. It’s kind of how you feel every day.”
Playing a few before the league shuts down is preferable.
“I know for me, I’d like to play a couple games before that break, and I’d like to get back and see how I feel and get into it and then boom, once that break’s over, hit it, and we’re in the big [playoff] push there.”
* * *
Joe Pavelski and Brad Stuart were the only two players that did not take part in Friday’s practice, but both should be available to play against Boston on Saturday, Todd McLellan said.
Matt Irwin, whose upper body injury precipitated Matt Tennyson’s recall, was on the ice. McLellan said he’s close to being able to return, and Irwin himself said the injury is not serious.
* * *
One subplot for Saturday’s Sharks game against the Bruins is that in the first meeting on Oct. 24 in Boston, Tommy Wingels was knocked from the game on a hit from Zdeno Chara in the first period. Wingels said afterwards that he didn’t like the hit, which appeared to be high. Wingels was asked if he expects to have any words with the towering Boston defenseman.
“I don’t know, I haven’t even thought about it,” he said.
The Bruins gave the Sharks their first regulation loss in the first meeting, 2-1, scoring with less than two seconds on the clock on David Krejci’s tip goal.
“They’re a good team. Obviously, we wish we would have won last time in their building, but they got a late one to [win],” Wingels said. “We’re going to have to be on our A-game.”