Ryan Garner covered a good deal of what I was going to post in his entry today (http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?post_id=9713
), so I'll just hit on a few other things.
Craig Rivet missed the majority of contact drills today, as he did yesterday, only coming out to skate with the power skating coach at the end of practice. He is definitely working very hard, but you can tell something is hurting him. He looks doubtful to take the ice on Saturday evening (especially given it's a meaningless preseason game and his roster position is locked in stone).
Torrey Mitchell was skating very gingerly today and it looks as if he's having trouble pushing off with his injured foot, as he has virtually no acceleration. I doubt he'll get recooperate enough overnight to participate tomorrow against the Flames even though he says it's getting better every day. Unfortunately for Torrey, this looks like the end of a great training camp for him. Since he doesn't have to clear waivers, the decision to send him down for a full year in the AHL is a no-brainer. With that said, I'll be surprised if he's not recalled to San Jose at some point during the year after leading the Worchester Sharks in scoring.
With decision time quickly approaching, here's my choice for the opening night 23:
F (14): Marleau, Thornton, Cheechoo, Michalek, Pavelski, Setoguchi,
Clowe, Goc, Grier, Brown, Rissmiller, Roenick (+Bernier, +Kaspar)
D (7): Murray, Vlasic, McLaren, Ehrhoff, Carle, Rivet (+Davison)
G (2): Nabokov, Greiss
IR: Norton (Groin/Leg), Plihal (Shoulder)
AHL: Patzold, Mitchell
On Waivers before AHL: Semenov, Mink
I truly believe that this Sharks roster could play a style similar to the Sabres of last season where the scoring can come from anywhere in the lineup. Similarly, with so much depth, if a line is having an offnight you can bet that they won't see much ice (unless it's Marleau-Thornton-Cheechoo, in which case Wilson will ride them until they play through it).
More tomorrow night following the contest with the Flames. In addition, be sure to tune in to Ryan's live blog during the action.