Sharks consider replacements for Ian White
"At this present time I'd say no [he will not play Saturday]. He didn't practice today," McLellan said after Friday's practice. "He'll come to the rink tomorrow and we'll evaluate him. We'll put his well-being and health ahead of playing."
"I don't know that we're completely sure on that yet; we'll make that decision tomorrow," said McLellan.
Part of the issue is that Huskins has been out two months with an upper-body injury, although he did practice again Friday.
"That's part of the reason why we're still not sure who's going in or who's not," McLellan said. "I have to sit down and talk to him later today. But he's a veteran player who has played in a lot of situations like this, won a Stanley Cup. So it's nice to have that option as well."
If it's Braun, the Sharks coach has no qualms about using a rookie.
"This is a young player that we're very excited about in our organization," McLellan said. "We feel that he has -- and I don't want to pressure on him -- but that Logan Couture-type of upswing in his development. He's not a 17- or an 18-year-old. He's an older player that has matured and has had a chance to play a number of games with us this year. So we feel good about him being there. He had a real good year in the American League. He'll be ready if we call on him."
Bruan had 11 points (2-9) in 28 games with the Sharks this season and posted 23 points (5-18) in 34 games with AHL Worcester. He's got big-time offensive upside.
"For a lot of people who haven't seen him play, I think he's done an amazing job," veteran blueliner Dan Boyle said Friday. "He's a right shot, a big shot, a big body and he played really well for us. He's a guy on the outside right now because he's young, but I'm not nervous if he comes in."
Braun, 24, practiced again Friday and said the possibility of playing his first playoff game is exciting.
"I've been watching playoff hockey for years," Braun told ESPN.com, grinning ear to ear. "Last night was the first live playoff game that I've seen. I just try to get ready for every game so that doesn't change for tomorrow."
What did he learn from watching Thursday night?
"Just where they're going with their forecheck, I got a pretty good idea of what I need to do [to] break out," Braun said.
With the Sharks going down to five defenseman on Thursday night, Boyle logged a game-high 35 minutes.
"I felt alright," Boyle said Friday. "My minutes were down last month of the season with Ian coming over. So the body wasn't as used to it as it had been prior. But I just had to be smart. I had to try and not jump into the rush on every play like I normally like to do. I just tried to stay back and break the guys out and be smarter."
Starting with a win
The Sharks had lost their playoff openers in the past three years, so it was nice for them to come to the rink Friday and not have to answer all those questions rehashing their playoff history.
"It's nice," captain Joe Thornton said. "Last year, we got off to a slow start against Colorado, and this year it's nice to get the first win under our belts, get everyone calm and get our legs underneath us. Now we can really hit our stride."