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DENVER – Sharks rookie Barclay Goodrow is getting close to making his NHL debut.
Goodrow a 21-year-old undrafted free agent that impressed in training camp, has just about recovered from a left hand injury he suffered blocking a shot late in the Sharks’ final preseason game in Anaheim on Oct. 4, coach Todd McLellan said on Tuesday morning. Goodrow is on the road trip and has been practicing with the team.
“Barclay is getting closer. We had hoped two weeks, but now we’re into three, three-and-a-half,” McLellan said. “It’s been awhile since he played and awhile since he’s been able to really practice with us. Most of his practice time has been in pregame skate situations where it’s never the same. The intensity isn’t the same in the morning as what it would be in practice days.
“The coaching staff is trying to work hard with him after to put him in situations where he begins to feel more comfortable.”
Goodrow was activated on Tuesday and has been officially placed on the Sharks roster. Indications are that when Goodrow is ready, he’ll get in the lineup right away.
The Sharks have struggled to find a consistent third line after Goodrow, Chris Tierney and Tommy Wingels skated together in the final three preseason games and presumably would have started the season together.
In 11 games, the Sharks have started the five different combinations on the third line. In the last two, it’s been Tierney, Matt Nieto and James Sheppard.
“When Barclay comes back, he’s going to play for our team. We want him to be in a situation where he has a chance to be successful, where he can go in and feel really good about his game and blossom, and not be chasing it. He’ll work hard to get there.”