GLENDALE, Ariz. — In the five-day stretch from Friday to Tuesday, Dylan Sikura could hardly rest.
On Friday, Sikura was in the AHL, scoring the IceHogs’ one regulation goal in a 2-1 shootout win in Grand Rapids, Michigan. On Saturday, he was back in Rockford, tallying an assist in a 5-2 IceHogs loss.
He was told after Saturday’s game he was being called up, so he was in Chicago for Sunday’s morning skate, then played his first NHL game of the season Sunday night.
On Monday, he participated in the Hawks’ optional practice, then flew to Las Vegas. And on Tuesday, he played in Vegas, his fourth game in five days.
“It was a busy week there for me,” he said Thursday, smiling a tired smile. “That’s part of pro hockey, and that’s going to happen.”
“The last game, I saw my body maybe taking a little bit of the wear for that. But you’ve got to be ready, you’ve got to be a pro whenever you get the call, no matter how many games you’ve played, whatever it is.”
Sikura will be a healthy scratch in favor of Matthew Highmore for Thursday’s game in Arizona, giving him consecutive off-days at last (the team didn’t practice Wednesday).
Through his first two Hawks appearances, Sikura has been quiet, with zero points and two shots on goal in 21 total minutes.
“The first game, I was pretty good, I had good legs and was creating some stuff away from the puck,” he said. “Last game I took a step back, for the team and myself as well, but it comes from getting your legs back under you and adjusted to this level.”
But he knows that’s just part of the adjustment from the AHL.
“Every time you’re up here on the ice, the game’s on the line. You turn the puck over anywhere on the ice, it could be a chance against, it could cost the game,” he said. “The game’s on the line every time you’ve got the puck on your stick. So it’s a lot different, a lot to adjust to when you come up here.”