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San Jose Sharks

San Jose Sharks: Observations From A Quirky Pre-Season Game

San Jose SharksBecause of a quirk in the schedule where the Sharks need to finish their pre-season early for their trip to Sweden, the Sharks split their squad with Phoenix that had them play a home game in San Jose and any away game in Phoenix. I’ve always felt that the Bay Area does not have enough hockey coverage during the pre-season as the game in San Jose was not covered locally by TV or radio and the only way to see or hear the game was to attend in person. I was fortunate enough to be given tickets to the game from a friend at work who is a season ticket holder. Here is what I witnessed from the game.

The Sharks have yet to name a captain and fielded a squad with three “A” on their jerseys. The three A’s were Joe Pavelski, Dan Boyle and Doug Murray. The first line consisted of Pavelski centering Heatly and Marleau. The second line had Joe Thornton centering a line with Clowe and Setoguchi. I think you may see this combination at times this season.

Niemi started the game and played two periods before giving way to Stalock, who has since been re-assigned to Woosta. Niemi played a solid game giving up one power play goal. Niemi is your typical butterfly goalie and gives up a bunch of rebounds. The D played well to kick the rebounds into the corners as the Sharks won the game on goals by Dan Heatly, Patrick Marleau and Sean Sullivan. Overall it was a solid performance as the Sharks scored two quick goals in the third period 1 minute apart to preserve the game.

Ryan Clowe had a nice fight with Ryan Hollweg, defending the honor of Dan Heatly after he was leveled for cross checking a Coyote into the Phoenix goalie.

I like most Shark fans have worries about our defense and am still wondering if another D man will be added. Doug Wilson has added Lilja, who coached in Detroit, but I can’t believe he is the answer to the departed Rob Blake. Lilja is a basic stay at home defenseman and does not score a lot of goals. Again Niemi gives up a ton a rebounds and our D will have to be on their toes most nights. I would not be surprised if we being the season with 7 Defensemen as our 4th line is not set. This would also take some pressure off the 4th and 5th defensemen as they would not log a ton of minutes.

The next Sharks pre-season games will be televised by The NHL Network against the Canucks so we will get another chance to see how the lines combinations pan out and see what happens to the D pairings.

Looking forward to the season.


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2 comments for “San Jose Sharks: Observations From A Quirky Pre-Season Game”

  1. Interesting - everyone says we need ‘a stay-at-home defenseman’ yet that’s exactly what Lilja is, so wouldn’t he be a good fit for now? Jason Demers is might be our 2nd puck-moving defensemen - we may see a lot more of him this season. How much better is our defense this year over last now that we have Niemi and Nittymaki?

    Posted by sharksfanNo Gravatar | September 27, 2010, 4:58 pm
  2. I like Lilja, but he is getting up there in age and is pretty slow. How many times did we see the Blackhawks blow past our defensemen? Blake was not the fastest guy either. I think Joslin and Petrecki also get a long look this season. Defense is a funny thing. The Blackhawks basically told Niemi they won the cup despite him, that he allows rebounds and there defensemen are the reason why they won and he was not retained.

    Posted by FCNo Gravatar | September 28, 2010, 8:43 am

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