Programming note: Islanders-Sharks coverage starts today at 7 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California
SAN JOSE – It didn’t take very long for rookie Barclay Goodrow to work his way up the lineup.
In his NHL debut on Thursday in Minnesota, the 21-year-old spent most of the game on the fourth line with Andrew Desjardins and Adam Burish, but also took a few spins on the Joe Thornton-Joe Pavelski line in place of a struggling Tomas Hertl.
In eight minutes and 39 seconds of ice time, Goodrow had two shots on goal, and showed his ability to play strong along the wall while using his six-foot-two, 215-pound frame.
“He won some battles in tight areas, which is his forte,” Todd McLellan said after the game. “He can keep his nose over the puck and burrow a little bit. I thought he was fine. He got some shifts with Jumbo and Patty, so his confidence should go up a little bit, and we’ll continue to work with him.”
Goodrow said: “I thought I got a lot better as the game went on. Obviously I was pretty nervous my first couple of shifts, a lot of emotion and adrenaline going through by body. ... Getting a few shifts with Pav and Jumbo was awesome.”
Against the Islanders, expect Goodrow to play on the wing of center Chris Tierney and James Sheppard. Had he not injured his left hand in the team’s final preseason game, Goodrow would have started the season with Tierney, after the pair showed almost instant chemistry in training camp.
Goodrow finished with three goals, four points and a +2 rating in five preseason games playing mostly with Tierney and Tommy Wingels.
“We were able to do some things out there in preseason, so hopefully that hasn’t worn off and we can rekindle that flame we had and have a successful night,” said Goodrow of playing with Tierney, whom he has known since childhood.
McLellan said: “I see his minutes going up now. … His practice time this week will also be important. He’ll have two games under his belt, and we think that he’s going to be a tremendous player for us – not only now, but in the future.”