The San Jose Sharks could be getting a huge boost for Saturday’s Pacific Division rivalry game against Phoenix.
Defenseman Dan Boyle, out since Oct. 15 following a nasty hit from St. Louis’ Maxim Lapierre, has declared himself fit to return to the lineup for the first time in seven games.
“I’ve been skating so, yeah, it’s pretty much [the coach’s] decision at this point,” Boyle told CSN Bay Area. “I’ve informed them where I’m at, and now it’s up to them.
“I’ve got to check with them now just to make sure we’re on the same page. Hopefully, I’ll be out there [Saturday].”
The Sharks have fared well without Boyle in the lineup, going 4-1-2 in his absence. The club has rolled with a six-man defensive unit of Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Justin Braun, Jason Demers, Matt Irwin, Scott Hannan and Brad Stuart in his absence.
As for adjusting, Boyle says the hardest part will be the mental side, not the physical.
“I’m sure at least for a little bit, I’ll be a little tentative,” Boyle said. “Hopefully, I get rid of that. Last time this happened [in 2003 with Tampa Bay], I kind of got hit early. That was probably the best thing to happen.
“Hopefully, the first shift I get a hit or get hit. Hopefully, I’ll get some of that nervousness and bad energy away.”