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October 25, 2013

Ex-SJP star McCarthy thrives playing first NHL game in Boston for Sharks

(Continued)

“We threw a lot of shots at Tuukka and probably deserved better, but that’s the way hockey goes sometimes,” said Sharks (and former Bruin) captain Joe Thornton.

With a slew of talent up front, San Jose’s offensive game plan is simple: use its speed and skill to attack opponents coming through the neutral zone and into scoring areas. McCarthy isn’t a sniper along the lines of, say, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, rookie Tomas Hertl or Thornton. But the speed his possesses, the pressure he’s able to apply via the forecheck and consistent play in all three zones area areas of the game in which he can excel.

“That’s one of things we always talk about, creating speed and pressure. With our team speed, we want all four lines contributing,” said McCarthy, who was able to go out to dinner with family members earlier in the week after the Sharks arrived in Boston late Monday night following a game in Detroit.

Last night was McCarthy’s 55th NHL game; he’s spent much more of his professional career with the Sharks’ American Hockey League team in Worcester (231 games). He’s well aware of his situation; play well when given the chance in San Jose — be it because of an injury to another forward, the need for an infusion of new blood or another reason entirely — and he’ll stick around. If not, his ticket gets punched back to Central Massachusetts.

“It’s a day-to-day thing. I’ve got to be on top of my game every day or I’ll find myself back in Worcester,” McCarthy, who has 2 goals and 4 points in his NHL career, admitted. “It’s not my job to make that decision, so I just have to focus on playing my game.

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