Despite losing 4-1 to the Bruins on Tuesday, there were a few positives the Sharks could take out of their final East Coast game of the season. The most important being that their acquisition from the trade deadline is already starting to look comfortable.
Gustav Nyquist didn't find the back of the net in his first game in teal but looked more and more comfortable on his new team as the game went on. While the ending result of the game was less than favorable, the Sharks got a good glimpse of how the newest addition to their lineup can fuel them going forward.
"I want to go as far as to say he was our best player out there," Joe Pavelski told reporters after Tuesday's game. "He looked confident with the puck. He made some good plays in the neutral zone. You can see the poise, his ability to move around and play that where you can share the puck."
Not bad for a skater who had only played with one team for the entirety of his professional career up to this point.
"This guy's been well-coached, he's a smart player," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer complimented. "I was really impressed with what he did tonight and the potential for where he fits for us going forward."
Nyquist played on Joe Thornton's wing for the duration of Tuesday's contest and generated a few good looks working with the veteran centerman. After the game, Nyquist told the press that Thornton – not surprisingly – made his first game as a Sharks easier.
"I thought we had a few good shifts in the o-zone. He's such a smart player out there," Nyquist said. "It'll take a couple of games, I'm sure, to get to know each other a little bit more. But with a smart player like that, you just try to get open and he's going to find you."
With their quick chemistry, it will be interesting to see how long Nyquist stays on Thornton's wing for. The Swedish winger adds depth to San Jose's forward attack – and therefore opens up the possibility for line combos to be shuffled over a couple of games to find where he fits best.
Nyquist also penciled into Jumbo Joe's line in place of another Swede, Marcus Sorensen, who missed the game in Boston after taking a puck to the face over the weekend. Plus, with how the Sharks played against the Bruins, the combos might be getting a makeover as it is. Really, it's anyone's guess how DeBoer chooses to tinker with the lines over the next couple of games.
No matter where Nyquist ends up playing in the lineup, suffice to say he made a positive impression in his first game with his new team.
"You never quite know what it is on the other side, showing up to a new team, but I think he handled it well," Pavelski said.
After one game, DeBoer is already looking forward to more.
"I liked everything about him," DeBoer said. "He's a good hockey player. He's going to help us."