The San Jose Sharks have found themselves in a tough place. A good tough place though. The Sharks roster still has some trimming to be done, however, who will stay and who will go? Obviously you can't begin the season with 28 centers just because they all looked good in the preseason. A complete team needs defense as well. You have your locked in guys such as K Mac, Carle, Rivet, Erhoff, and Pickles. Well what to do about the others. Douglas Murray has had a great camp in my opinion. He came in in better shape this year and looks much better than just the bone crushing hitter he has been previously. Rob Davison is one of my favorite guys on this team. He has eyes that appear to look right through you, lets just say when he gets that look in his eye, you do not want to be the one he is looking at. He is also valuable in the sense that he can be moved up to the wing and plays pretty well there. Rob Davison gives you options. He is a good defenseman who can be thrown onto a forward line to shake things up if needed. Alexi Semenov has just not impressed me and has been exactly what I expected, a big giant guy on the ice and not much more. I really doubt he will make the starting night roster. Sandis Ozolinsh is a player who I think can still be an impact player in this league. I believe he just needs the right environment and San Jose should provide that. He has come into camp in shape and determined to make the team. He must prove himself in camp due to the fact he can not play in any preseason games, league substance abuse policies prevent him from doing so.
So who says to many young quick guys who can score is a problem? In most cases I would not, however the team needs to put together a starting line-up. As far as forwards go the only problem the Sharks have is deciding who will stay with the big club and who will start the season in Worcester. Thornton, Marleau, Michalek, Bernier, Cheechoo, Grier, Brown, and Roenick, are all locks. What about the players who are sort of in limbo? Now do not get me wrong here, all the following players would most likely make any starting roster, but the fact is this roster is going to be a very tough one to crack. The following guys will need to be strategically placed on the roster.....Pavelski, Goc, Rissmiller, Clowe, Setoguchi, Mitchell, Kaspar, and Mink. Most likely Mitchell, Kaspar, and Mink will be cut but that still leaves decisions to be made. Pavelski has been great, he has been a part of nearly every goal scored this preseason. Setoguchi has been very impressive as well with 5 goals in the preseason, I believe he has done enough and deserves a chance. Clowe can play everywhere. You can put him on the first line or the 4th and he produces. Rissmiller is very off and on to me. He has shown signs of being a top 6 forward but just not consistent enough for me. Goc has always been solid. He plays well on both sides of the puck. He just has not put up the numbers i would like to see out of him.
As for the goaltending I believe Greiss will begin the season as Nabokov's back-up. He has played very well and shown good lateral movement. Patzhold just has not shown enough. Both goaltenders had a tough time pleading their cases though, with the solid defensive play in front of them, they did not get to see much on most nights.
There are a lot of tough calls to make in the next couple of days. No matter who stays and who goes the Sharks are in place to ice a very solid team. The depth at the forward spots is a blessing any team would love to have. Also I would not be surprised to see a trade of some sort go down considering the depth and value of the young forwards within the system.
I will do a blog on the final roster as soon as a decision has been made.
Have a good day !
Just a quick Update !
The San Jose Sharks weekly call-in radio show will be broadcast on 1220 AM every Saturday from 5-6:30 pm. You can find more info on this here.....