The San Jose Sharks didn't end up making the big move at the trade deadline, but they were there, cherry-picking the players they think would help them through the end of what has been a tough season thus far. Rick Nash didn't end up being traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets, but San Jose did ship off Jamie McGinn and two others in exchange for Daniel Winnik and T.J. Galiardi of the Colorado Avalanche.
It's pretty clear the Sharks got the best player out of that deal (Galiardi), so it's definitely a good thing, even if it's hard to see him go (so hard, apparently, that the NHL.com preview cites McGinn quotes when talking about the Sharks upcoming stretch of games). CSN Bay Area put together a good video with Brodie Brazil, talking about the trades with some quotes and giving a bit of an injury update, so check that out, yes?
Moving on, the Sharks have wrapped up an arduous nine-game road trip in which they went a paltry 2-6-1, and then had plane issues (along with a Todd McLellan head injury), delaying their return to the Bay. Instead of an extra day off, they got to spend it returning back to San Jose, so their first game back at the HP Pavilion could be a rough one.
There's relief coming on all fronts though, with those aforementioned new pieces in Galiardi and Winnick providing a healthy boost to the team, and Douglas Murray getting closer to returning from an injury suffered on Feb. 16 when a puck hit him in the throat. Marty Havlat is getting closer as well, but has no timetable on a return. Murray remains day-to-day and is awaiting a doctor's clearance.
"My first impression was just elation, I don't know, things have been tough here for me this season. Not to go into anything specific, but I was just really happy to have a fresh start somewhere," was the response from Galiardi in reference to the trade. Though Winnick wasn't hoping for a trade before it happened, he nonetheless seems very happy to be moving forward and, really, that's the best-case scenario for the Sharks. They have two new pieces who work well together and who want a fresh start.
The Sharks will have three games this week, with a matchup against the Philadelphia Flyers up first on Tuesday, the beginning of a four-game stand at the HP Pavilion. San Jose had reportedly been in talks with the Flyers regarding a trade for James van Riemsdyk, but nothing substantial came of it and the talks fell through. Philly has been inconsistent of late, going 5-7 in the month of February, but were winners in their last outing - a 5-4 shootout victory over the Calgary Flames.
Antti Niemi hasn't faced the Flyers since he bested them in the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals with the Chicago Blackhawks. Niemi has had a very tough time of late, getting pulled in the 6-2 loss to the Nashville Predators on Saturday. He'll get every opportunity to bounce back, though it is worth noting that his name came up near the trade deadline in a potential deal with the Flyers. Some have since suggested the Sharks never had him on the table, but simply worth noting that there are conflicting reports on the subject.
Following the game against Philadelphia, San Jose will play host to the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday, and then the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. The following week, they'll wrap-up the four-game homestand with a game against the Edmonton Oilers.