Programming note: Sharks-Capitals coverage gets underway at 3:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California
WASHINGTON -- John Scott may not have played a game yet with his new NHL team, but his sense of humor was in mid-season form on Tuesday morning in Washington, as the Sharks get set to kick off a five-game road trip against the Capitals.
When asked what happened to the Sharks on Saturday, a game that they won 3-0 but were pretty thoroughly outplayed in the second half, Scott said: “From my game? I biked pretty good.”
How tough will it be for him to get up to game speed after sitting out the first two?
“Not that tough. The coaches do a good job of keeping you game-speed ready. They skate you pretty good when you’re not playing. It won’t be too hard, maybe one or two shifts.
“My game speed isn’t that high, so it won’t be too hard.”
Scott’s role as the team’s 6-foot-8, 260-pound enforcer will be on display for the first time as Mike Brown will be out for a stretch with a left hand injury. He’s set to skate on the fourth line with Andrew Desjardins and Adam Burish.
Todd McLellan is hopeful that Scott will be able to adjust to the Sharks’ style of play, but it’s a work in progress.
“We’re confident he’s working that way, of course. But, he hasn’t played a game yet for us in regular season,” McLellan said. “We have to -- like any of the other new players -- give him an opportunity to experience it. Create a baseline, and go from there.”
It could be an ideal time to get Scott in the lineup, as the former Buffalo Sabre has spent the last two and a half years of his career in the Eastern Conference. The Sharks’ next seven games are against teams from the East, including the 1-0-1 Capitals.
“They’re a dangerous team. They have some world-class guys: [Alex] Ovechkin, [Nicklas] Backstrom, [Brooks] Laich. You’ve just got to be aware of them,” Scott said.
“Obviously we have some talent too on our side, so we’re not going to be too worried about what they’re bringing. I think we’ll just worry about our game, and that should take care of itself.”
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Antti Niemi was the first goalie off of the ice for the Sharks, so he’ll get the start against Washington. Niemi made 34 saves in shutting out the Los Angeles Kings in the Sharks’ season opener last Wednesday.
Sharks defenseman Scott Hannan will be playing in his 1,000th career NHL game.
Injured forwards Brown, Tyler Kennedy, James Sheppard and Barclay Goodrow are all on the trip.