SAN JOSE – The noise level at SAP Center reached an all-time high on Saturday night during the Sharks' Game 5 matchup with the Colorado Avalanche when Joe Pavelski was shown on the center ice cube pumping up the crowd.
Now, Team Teal's captain is in Denver with the team as they prepare to potentially bump the Avalanche out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a win in Game 6 of their second-round series Monday night.
Pavelski isn't ready to return to game action yet. But his presence alone is a good sign he can return to the lineup if San Jose continues playing.
"It's close," Pavelski told the press on Monday morning after the team practiced in Denver. "We're still checking out a few things here and there and seeing where it needs to get to and how fast."
No. 8 told the press he's still functioning on a day-by-day basis after suffering a scary injury during the Game 7 of San Jose's first-round series with the Vegas Golden Knights. He said he could potentially be available to play in a Game 7 scenario against Colorado – not that the Sharks want the series to go that far.
"It's a possibility I think," Pavelski said. "Hopefully we don't get to that point. A few more days rest and whatever. But it still really is day-to-day I think."
Pavelski didn't travel with the team when they were in Denver for Games 3 and 4 against the Avs, and admitted it was nice to be back practicing with his teammates.
"I didn't come on the last trip, watched the games and chatted with them a little bit here and there," Pavelski said. "It's great to see everyone in there and hear all the funny stuff that happens on a road trip and just be around them."
During that unprompted moment in the third period of Game 5, the center-ice cube revealed Pavelski – who the public hadn't seen since Game 7 against Vegas – standing down at ice level, clad in a suit and smile, waving a rally towel. His presence brought the noise at SAP Center to a deafening level.
"There was a loud cheer and I figured something was going on," recalled Logan Couture after Game 5, who was on the ice for a power play at the time. "Took a look up at the jumbotron and there he was. I didn't know – no one knew he was going to do that. That was as loud as this building gets. That was reminiscent of Game 7 against Vegas how loud that was."
There's no doubt the Tank will be just as loud whenever Pavelski returns to game action, whenever that may be.
"It still really is day-to-day I think," Pavelski said on Monday. "I wish I had a set-in-stone answer."