ADLER, Russia -- In the Olympic Village, Sharks teammates are now Sharks roommates.

Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic discovered this fun pajama-party fact when they received their housing assignments upon check-in.

"He's a lucky guy," said Vlasic.

But which one snores louder?

"We don't know yet," Marleau said.

He was right. Monday was a whirlwind day for all the players from the NHL who arrived here on four different charter airplanes from either Newark, N.J., or Atlanta. The planes left Sunday afternoon and traveled overnight across the ocean before landing at the Sochi airport.

With the time change -- Sochi is 12 hours ahead of California -- all of the players' body clocks were telling them to sleep. But the Team Canada coach, Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings, decided to schedule a meal followed by an evening practice.

"We wanted to keep them up, keep them awake," Babcock ahead. "That was the goal of today's practice. This way, they might be able to sleep through the night."

Snoring might be optional, but patience isn't. With the Olympic hockey tournament beginning Wednesday -- although the USA and Canada don't play until Thursday -- the concept of jet lag has been banned from all locker rooms here at the Bolshoy Ice Dome. Surprisingly enough, the Monday practices for all teams seemed pretty peppy.


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After the Team Canada session, however, Marleau and Vlasic were visibly fatigued. That was even more the case for their Sharks comrade, Joe Pavelski, a member of Team USA's roster. His coach, Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins, held drills that didn't end until almost 10:30 p.m. local time.

"Smooth trip over," said Pavelski. "But I'm tired."

The following three pieces of information, however, will cause all followers of the beloved Los Tiburones to blink awake:

1. During the Team Canada practice session, Marleau was working on a forward line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks.

2. Pavelski's roommate in the Team USA quarters is defenseman Cam Fowler of ... that's correct, the same Anaheim Ducks.

3. Vlasic's defensive partner in the Canadian drills was Drew Doughty of ... oh, my, the Los Angeles Kings.

The Ducks and Kings, of course, are the two teams that Sharks fans most love, in the same way that all figure skaters just love all figure skating judges. Games between the Sharks and either of their Southern California rivals are always chippy or uber-chippy. In particular, Getzlaf and Perry are probably two of the most loathed opposing players to visit the Shark Tank.

But at least for the next two weeks, we've got the equivalent of ... what was that Bill Murray line in "Ghostbusters"? Dogs and cats! Living together! And wearing skates!

"It's a little bit weird," Marleau said of playing alongside the two Ducks. "But now it's same team, same goal."

For Vlasic, the situation won't be totally new. He and Doughty were defensive partners at the World Championships five years ago.

Marleau's assignment might also change over the next few days. The Olympic rosters have 25 players. That means two forwards must be scratched for every game. And at certain points in the Team Canada session, Getzlaf and Perry worked with John Tavares rather than Marleau.

Might this mean Marleau is one of Canada's potential scratches? Seems doubtful. His penalty-kill skills helped earn him a Canada roster spot. And during the practice he worked on what could become the team's top PK unit, with Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, Vancouver defenseman Dan Hamhuis and Vlasic.

Meanwhile, in Team USA drills, Pavelski centered a line with two Toronto Maple Leafs players, Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk.

It's all part of the quick-assembly package that every Olympic team faces here. The other Shark in the tournament, goalie Antii Niemi, is on the Team Finland roster but arrived too late for that team's 2:15 p.m. first practice. Finland is stocked with great goalies, so it's undetermined how much playing time Niemi will receive.

But at least all hands (and sticks) arrived safely. With terrorist threats here a well-publicized story, the NHL players were given a security briefing that consisted basically of cautionary advice when visiting certain parts of the area and recommendations not to wear conspicuous team gear.

Pavelski still felt safe enough to bring along his wife. Vlasic's wife and parents are all here. Marleau's wife decided to stay home with their three children under 7 years old. Thus, he brought along a childhood friend from Saskatchewan.

The Bolshoy building, capacity of 12,000, is expected to be full for most hockey games, given Russia's love of the sport. The tournament, with Canada favored by some observers and Sweden by others, should provide the same high-tempo quality hockey as seen in other Olympics with NHL players.

First, though, there was sleep. Stay tuned for any snoring updates.

Contact Mark Purdy at mpurdy@mercurynews.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/MercPurdy.