SAN JOSE – There was plenty of hustle and bustle around the practice facility at the end of the week as the Sharks returned to practice after their bye week. With as jam-packed as Team Teal's season was ahead of the break, being away from the comfortably cold ice rink seemed a bit odd.
"It definitely (felt) a little weird," admitted winger Timo Meier, who told NBC Sports California he spent his break with family in a much warmer climate than the cloudy Bay Area. "But that's just how it is. You try to take advantage of it as much as you can and rest. Just have a couple days off to turn your mind off and not think about hockey for a little bit. Just clear your head."
San Jose understandably looked like they needed a break in a few of their games before the bye. With numerous back-to-backs and an unforgiving travel schedule, the Sharks were due for a little R&R.
"I think, for us, it came at the right time," Meier said. "Not just for us but for other teams too, that rest definitely helps."
Even with that time to unwind, however, the Swiss skater said it's important not to completely let yourself go.
"You can still maintain for physical strength. You've got to make sure you relax, but you also have to make sure you treat your body right," Meier explained. "And then you can start to think about what you want to do after the break. You want to set some goals."
Perhaps it's no surprise Meier was already thinking ahead to the last 30 games of the season. The 22-year-old broke out of a scoring slump just a couple games before the break and is no doubt itching to get back out on the ice and build up some momentum.
Sharks' bench boss Peter DeBoer told the media he was happy to see Meier break through ahead of the long break.
"It was weighing on him, and you wouldn't want him going away for ten days with that hanging over him," DeBoer said. "I don't have any doubt he's going to get rolling over these last 30 games."
Meier himself has his focus pretty squarely set on those 30 games, not the ones before the break.
"What's in the past is in the past," Meier said with a shrug. "We're looking forward to the stretch that's coming up here, which is really big for us."
After the Sharks resume play on Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes, they take a trip across the border to play the Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and Vancouver Canucks. While a couple of those contests may prove to be more challenging than others, every game down the final stretch is going to have an impact.