Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Darryl Hunt: WorSharks Open 2008 Training Camp

The Worcester Sharks opened their 2008 training camp yesterday at the Hart Center on the campus of The College of The Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. As with day one, day two featured a scrimmage between the "black" and "gray" teams.

Team Black consisted of two players from last season's team: Frazier McLaren and Ashton Rome. They were joined by former Worcester IceCat Brendan Buckley and free agent signees Ryan Vesce and Matt Fornataro, along with several players on amateur or professional try out contracts.

Team Gray had four WorShark players on it: P.J. Fenton, T.J. Fox, Matt Jones, and Patrick Traverse. Free agent signee Brett Westgarth and others on amateur or professional try out contracts filled out the roster.

The three goaltenders in camp, Ryan Daniels, Derek MacIntyre, and Kile Jones, rotated in for both teams.

Team Black got on the scoreboard first when Wes Clark (ATO, NCAA-University of Maine) picked a lose puck out of a scrum in front of the net and flipped a backhand over a sprawled Derek MacIntyre (ATO, NCAA-Fenris State).

It looked like Team Black would take that 1-0 lead into the locker room, but Patrick Traverse intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and broke in two on one with P.J. Fenton. Fenton handcuffed Ryan Daniels (ATO, OHL-Saginaw) with a quick wrist shot to knot the game at 1-1.

Early on in the second half Brendan Buckley fired a slap shot directly off a face off win and just past the outstretched right pad of Daniels, now playing for Team Gray, to give Team Black a 2-1 lead.

Team Gray would tie it at 2-2 later in the half with the game's final goal when Nate Bostic (ATO, NCAA-Niagra University) flipped a lose puck past Kile Jones.

Team Gray had the only power play during the game, and didn't record a single shot on goal.

The first half was played fairly wide open, with all three goaltenders making decent saves. The second half was much more physical, with big hits being recorded by both sides.

Andrew Desjardins (PTO, CHL-Laredo) looks to be the cream of the try out crop, with several big hits during the game. He also shrugged off a couple of hits while he had the puck, and skated well throughout the game.

Jamie Carroll (PTO, IHL-Port Huron) is another player that had a very good game. He skated very well and has good puck presence.

It was funny to watch some of the younger players try and deke around Traverse. As he enters his 15th professional season it's safe to say Traverse has seen just about every move there is, and he picked the pocket of at least half a dozen Team Black players.

The few fans gathered to watch the scrimmage thought they were going to see a fight between Frazier McLaren and Brett Westgarth after McLaren crashed the net looking for a lose puck. They jawed for a few moments, and then both broke into huge smiles. McLaren's first pro fight last season was against Brett's brother Kevin, who played for division rival Manchester.

Dan DaSilva (PTO, AHL-Lake Erie) was unable to participate in camp for the second straight day because his equipment had not yet arrived. "It's tough because I'm playing on a try out and can't earn a spot sitting here" he said during the scrimmage's half time. His frustration had eased from yesterday as his equipment had finally been located, and was supposed to be arriving some time this afternoon.

The lines, as listed on the roster handed out and in no particular order, were:

Team Black:


Team Gray:


During day one, Team Gray won the scrimmage 6-4.

The WorSharks open their preseason schedule tomorrow against Hartford at Trinity College. The players scheduled to play are:

Forwards: Rick Cleaver, Dominic Osman, Frazer McLaren, James McEwan, Bryan Esner, Gino Guyer, Andrew Desjardins, Wes Clark, Dan Travis, Jamie Carroll, Ashton Rome, Nate Bostic.

Defense: Jamie VanderVeeken, Rory Rawlyk, Brian O'Hanley, Matt Burke, Phil Youngclaus, Brett Westgarth.

Goaltenders: Derek MacIntyre and Ryan Daniels.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Player movements announced 9/29

Not yet announced by the San Jose Sharks, but Tomas Plihal and Alexei Semonov's contracts have been finalized.

San Jose Sharks signed D Jason Demers, 2008 7th round pick, to a NHL three year entry level contract. As Jason is 20, he will most likely spend time in Worcester this season.

On Monday, the San Jose Sharks announced the assignment of seven players to the Worcester Sharks camp, and released one player. The AHL Worcester Sharks camp opened on Monday; schedule and preliminary roster can be found here.

Current body count: 36 in NHL camp; 32 in AHL camp

Early parade to penalty box key in Vancouver Canucks 3-2 preseason win over San Jose

San Jose Sharks goaltender Brian Boucher
San Jose Sharks defenseman Rob Blake
San Jose Sharks Marcel Goc Mike Moore

Notes from the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 win over the Sharks on Saturday will be posted soon.

Paul Newman 1925-2008

Paul Newman racing 2005 San Jose Grand Prix

Paul Newman died Friday of cancer at the age 83. Over the weekend, many took a long look back at his film career and the growing legacy created by his Newman's Own charity. Newman was a genuine icon in Hollywood, with seminal roles spanning decades. The Hustler (1961), Cool Hand Luke (1967), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), The Sting (1973), Slap Shot (1977), The Verdict (1982), The Color of Money (1986), and the Road to Perdition (2002) were just a handful of memorable roles Newman portrayed during 53 years in front of the cameras.

It would be hard to overstate the impact Slap Shot had on the NHL and hockey. Newman's Reggie Dunlop character held the offbeat film together, and offered role models and stories to help build a new generation of hockey fans. The Arizona Republic's Bob Young called Slap Shot the standard for sports movies, and ranks it ninth alltime on his top 10 sports movie list. Phoenix television analyst and former NHL goaltender Darren Pang notes that he has seen the movie at least 25 times, and that Newman's portrayal of a grizzled veteran captured a seledom seen slice of professional hockey.

After participating in the 1969 racing film Winning, Newman caught the racing bug. He began racing in 1972 in Connecticut, and later won the 1976 amateur championship in a Triumph TR-6 according to the Mercury News. Along with 2 other drivers, Newman finished second in the 1979 24-Hours-of-Le-Mans endurance race in Dick Barbour's Porsche 935. He created the Newman/Haas Champ Car World Series racing team with Carl Haas in 1983. Above, Paul Newman celebrates the win of Newman/Haas driver Sebastien Bourdais in the inaugural San Jose Grand Prix in 2005.

[Update] TSN posted an extensive video tribute on Paul Newman's auto racing legacy and his work with the Hole in the Wall Gang charity on behalf of sick children.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sharks-Vancouver preseason game live broadcast on Canucks.com

The San Jose Sharks vs Vancouver Canucks game tonight starting in a few minutes will be streamed online for free at canucks.com. Vancouver pregame show is broadcasting right now.

Starting lineup for San Jose: Marleau-Thornton-Clowe-Blake-Vlasic, Brian Boucher is in net. Also in the lineup: Douglas Murray, Marcel Goc, Mike Grier, Tomas Plihal, Logan Couture, Tom Cavanagh, Steven Zalewski, Mike Morris, Mike Moore, Brad Staubitz, Jason Demers, Jamie McGinn, Derek Joslin and Thomas Greiss.

Starting lineup for Vancouver: Pyatt-Raymond-Demitra-Baumgartner-Ohlund, Roberto Luongo is in net. Also in the lineup: Lukas Krajeck, Mike Brown, Ryan Kesler, Jeff Cowan, Alexander Edler, Jason Krog, Jason Jaffray, Jannik Hansen, Rick Ryplen, Jyle Wellwood, Nathan McIver, Matt Pettinger and Cory Schneider.

Sharks hammer the Anaheim Ducks 5-2 at HP Pavilion

San Jose Sharks Anaheim Ducks
San Jose Sharks Anaheim Ducks

With no San Jose radio or television broadcast of the Sharks-Ducks game on Friday night, here is a belated liveblog from the game:

San Jose started a healthy mix of 10 regulars and 8 prospects with Evgeni Nabokov in goal for the second preseason game against the Anaheim Ducks Friday night at HP Pavilion. With the top line of Marleau-Thornton-Clowe and the Blake-Vlasic pairing scratched, the focus shifted to the second line of Michalek-Pavelski-Cheechoo and Dan Boyle and Christian Ehrhoff on the blueline.

Anaheim backup goaltender Jonas Hiller struggled with traffic in front, but the top line of Perry-Marchant-Miller and the physical play of right wing Bobby Ryan down low improved as the game wore on. Chris Pronger was boo'd almost every time he touched the puck, making it easy to keep an eye on his play.

Jonathan Cheechoo opened with an early hooking penalty on Todd Marchant. Corey Perry misses center Andrew Ebbet with a pass in front, Drew Miller called for holding the stick to negate the rest of the man advantage. Sharks 2007 1st round draft pick Logan Couture easily stickhandles around defenseman Brian Salcido on the left wing, resulting in a low percentage shot short side.

Later in the period, defenseman Jason Demers takes a nice feed on the point from defenseman Mike Moore and unloads a low slapshot that rebounds up high in the slot. Milan Michalek knocks the puck down, but Joe Pavelski hammers it past an extended Hiller for the first goal of the game (assists Michalek, Demers). It was Pavelski's first goal of the preseason.

Derek Joslin, who scored a goal in the first preseason game in Anaheim, fires a hard slapshot from the point that sails over the top of the net and deflects loudly off the glass. Ducks move the puck up ice and into the Sharks zone. Left wing Drew Miller and center Todd Marchant go into the corner with possession, nice play by Logan Couture and Lukas Kaspar to seal off their men, gain possession, and move the puck out. Couture finishes his shift with a hard check on defenseman Steve Montador up against the end boards.

Jonathan Cheechoo leads Michalek with a nice pass at center ice, and Michalek is able to blow by two Anaheim Ducks to direct a weak shot on Hiller. Pronger finishes the play by checking Michalek up against the glass, both teams scuffle briefly as a result. Next shift for Logan Couture, he hit Dan Boyle with a long cross ice pass through the Anaheim slot. Hiller is in position to make the save on Boyle, but Montador is called for a hooking penalty on the play.

Sharks power play unit is starting to click. Ehrhoff pinches on one attempt to fire the puck on net and then follows by sneaking in even furthur. The second attempt by Ehrhoff leads to a Plihal backhand from the crease. Anaheim responds with their best offensive chance of the game to this point, a tip on the doorstep just wide of Evgeni Nabokov.

Second half of the first period, the Sharks break out to a 4-on-1 against Jonas Hiller. Michalek with the puck hesitates, and then hits Jonathan Cheechoo trailing the play for a 1-timer. Hiller gets over in time to smother a shot that was against the grain and back in on his body. Travis Moen is called for charging, earning another Sharks power play.

The Sharks first power play unit consists of Setoguchi, Morris, Roenick, Ehrhoff and Boyle. The Ducks first penalty kill unit consists of Pahlsson, Niedermayer, O'Donnell and Pronger. Boyle, a right shot on the left side, and Ehrhoff, a left shot on the right side, are a dynamic defensive pairing. Mike Morris hits Setoguchi with a hard pass in the slot, but Setoguchi's stick is checked on the play and he can not control the puck. Boyle unloads a heavy point shot on the left side, puck deflects wide. On the opposite point, Ehrhoff fires another point shot. Hiller is in position to make the save. Michalek tried to tip a low shot, with Michalek and Cheechoo collapsing on net for a rebound, but Michalek is checked to the ice by O'Donnell. No explanation for O'Donnell and Michalek drawing roughing penalties on the play, it should be either one player or the other earning a call. Michalek's penalty should read 2 minutes for hitting the ice too hard. Boyle and Ehrhoff at this point look like they can play an entire 2 minute power play without much of a problem.

Anaheim center #48 Andrew Ebbett, who scored 18 goals and 54 assists in 74 games played for the AHL Portland Pirates last season, danced around a Sharks defenseman to get a shot on goal. Excellent display of skill. Sharks earn another power play on a Steve Montador interference penalty. A very quick Riley Armstrong breaks into the zone and snaps a shot on Jonas Hiller. Sharks keep it in the zone, and Derek Joslin unloads a heavy shot from the point that deflects off Hiller. #55 Mike Moore is called for interference. On the ensuing faceoff, Cheechoo is checked by O'Donnell up against the glass near the photographers. Next sequence Roenick bobbles the puck as a lane closes, but he skates 5 feet up ice to find a new lane and hits Mike Moore with a long cross ice pass. Moore shoots the puck into the body of Hiller. Second attempt by Setoguchi in close shortly after.

The heavyweights George Parros and Jody Shelley drop the gloves at 17:30. Two hard rights by Parros start the fight as the crowd cheers loudly. Jody Shelley lands several glancing blows as Parros starts to jab with the hand holding Shelley's jersey. Shelley opens a cut on Parros with a hard punch that connects square, but Parros is busy throwing wildly. Refs seperate a fairly even fight, but the crowd roars when a bloody Parros is shown on the giant video screen skating off the ice.

Devin Setoguchi is called for a penalty with 1:23 remaining, 2 minutes for hooking Logan MacMillan. Boyle, Moore, Michalek and Pavelski are the Sharks first penalty kill unit. Ryan, Miller, Perry, Pronger and Salcido are the first power play unit for Anahiem. Perry shot/pass from the right side finds Ryan in front, Nabokov covers the net low and makes the save. Anaheim gets the puck back over to Perry on the half boards, who fires another shot/pass which deflects off Nabby's left leg pad. Ebbett is there to hammer the rebound home for Anahiem, game tied 1-1 (assists Perry, Pronger at 19:59).

Both teams were held scoreless in the second period, with San Jose outshooting Anaheim 12-6. Perry-Marchant-Miller line strong early in the second period. After an extended cycle, Jeremy Roenick takes a hooking penalty. On the penalty kill, Joe Pavelski gains possession on the right side, pulls up and misses a streaking Michalek in the slot.

A hard check by defenseman Mike Moore on Travis Moen to keep the puck in the zone starts a scuffle. Moen is a veteran in the fight game going up against a young defensive prospect looking to open eyes on the NHL ice. Several hard punches by Moen land early, he keeps up a high work rate. One off balance looping shot by Moore lands and stuns Moen briefly. Moen jabs with his hand wrapped in Moore's jersey, and eventually takes him down.

The scoring onslaught picked up in the third period. The Sharks scored 4 unanswered goals before George Parros finished the scoring late in the period. Milan Michalek drives with the puck past the net to the left, and tries to pass to Joe Pavelski in the crease. Pavelski is tied up, and the puck deflects directly to Dan Boyle who fires a shot passed Jonas Hiller for his first goal as a San Jose Shark (assists Pavelski, Michalek). Shortly after the goal, Joe Pavelski is called for a 2 minute hooking penalty on Logan MacMillan.

The crowd is loudly booing Chris Pronger each time he touches the puck, and several times when it just looks like he is going to receive a pass. A shot by #53 Brett Festerling pinballs off of two sticks and is turned into the corner by Nabokov's last second kick save. Later in the period, #55 Mike Moore receives a pass on the point and quickly releases a shot on net. Logan Couture sets up a screen in front with his stick high in the air, and the puck beats Hiller 5:29 into the third period (assists McGinn, Joslin).

The Ducks top line is dangerous on every shift. Correy Perry takes an entry pass into the offensive zone, and two quick strides give him seperation on the defense. Perry snaps a low shot wide, with a rebound off of Nabokov landing in the crease. Perry tries to lift the puck high, but Evgeni Nabokov is all over it with his glove. Crowd starts chanting Nab-by, Nab-by, Nab-by.

Reserve defenseman Alexei Semenov scores his first goal of the postseason at 6:42, with assists by Mike Morris and Tomas Plihal. Semenov fires from 15 feet inside the blueline with Plihal screening Hiller in front. The shot clears Jonas Hiller's right shoulder with no reaction from the Swiss goaltender, a good tell that he had no look at the puck. The Ducks answer on the next play, with Perry setting up in front of Nabokov. Left wing Drew Miller fires a shot/pass which is deflected by Perry up into the safety netting.

The pace of the third period has picked up considerably. A quick pass from Kaspar to Plihal results in a Plihal wrist shot. Sean O'Donnell checks Plihal hard after the play starting another scuffle. As the refs try to seperate the mass of players, Semenov comes flying in, reaches around two officials and ties up O'Donnell, who is trying to goad the much smaller Plihal into a fight. Fans start chanting Ducks suck, Ducks suck, after the play.

Sharks left wing Jamie McGinn scores the final goal of the game for San Jose at 12:21 (assists by Jonathan Cheechoo, Dan Boyle). A hard point shot by Boyle is directed in front of the net by Cheechoo. McGinn, planted in front of Jonas Hiller, spins and deposits the puck in the back of the net. A little over 2 minutes later, George Parros finishes the scoring at 14:50, with assists by Steve Montador and Brett Festerling. San Jose wins the second game of a home-at-home preseason series with Anaheim 5-2.

[Update] Boyle makes splashy debut with Sharks - SJsharks.com.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Lineups for SJ-ANA pre-season game tonight

Starting lineup for the San Jose Sharks: Christian Ehrhoff, Devin Setoguchi, Dan Boyle, Jeremey Roenick, Mike Morris and Evgeni Nabokov. Also on the roster tonight for San Jose: Joe Pavelski, Milan Michalek, Jonathan Cheechoo, Alexei Semenov, Tomas Plishal, Riley Armstrong, Logan Couture, Lukas Kaspar, Jody Shelley, Mike Moore, Jason Demers, Jamie McGinn, Derek Joslin and Thomas Greiss.

Starting lineup for the Anaheim Ducks: Steve Montador, Travis Moen, Rob Neidermayer, Brett Festerling, Petteri Wirtanen and Jonas Hiller. Also on the roster tonight for Anaheim: Corey Perry, George Parros, Drew Miller, Sean O'Donnell, Todd Marchant, Chris Pronger, Samuel Pahlsson, Eric Boguniecki, Logan MacMillan, Andrew Ebbett, Brian Salcido, Brendan Mikkelson, Bobby Ryan and David LeNeveu.

A report on the SJ-ANA game, and an update on the China Sharks and the opening of the 2008-09 Asia League Ice Hockey season will be posted soon.

Hockey Notes - September 26th

Kyle McLaren

- One of the big stories out of training camp was news that the Sharks held veteran defenseman Kyle McLaren out of practice and scrimmages as an organizational decision. With 7 NHL defenseman under contract (not including Alexei Semenov), the Sharks remain $225,000 over the salary cap according to NHLscap.com.

General manager Doug Wilson told the Mercury News that it was simply a numbers game after offseason acquisitions of defenseman Dan Boyle, Brad Lukowich and Rob Blake. The 5-year mainstay on the Sharks blueline added a physical element the Sharks needed, but groin and knee problems cut short McLaren's season last year. McLaren was reportedly 100% healthy heading into training camp.

- The Sharks offered an update on the condition of checking center Torrey Mitchell who suffered two broken bones in his leg during an injury in training camp. The injury occured after a collision in front of the net which sent him into the post. A fan attending training camp posted a video of the incident on youtube here.

In addition to finding a short term replacement on the checking line, the Sharks will have to look for other players to provide the energy and the spark that Mitchell brought to the ice at the start of last season. During a rough October where the Sharks stumbled out of the gate to a 5-5-0-1 record, the rookie center was notable for his speed and tenacious defense. The pressure on the Sharks and the new coaching staff will be intense early if there are any setbacks.

- Just over the Thrashers Blueland newswire, the Atlanta Thrashers acquired defenseman Mathieu Schneider from the Anaheim Ducks for Ken Klee, Brad Larsen and Chad Painchaud. The 39-year-old Schneider joins a revamped blueline with standout Toby Enstrom and recently acquired Ron Hainsey. One NHL insider recently commented that after Schneider was traded, competition for other available defenseman may heat up in short order.

- The Sharks announced Wednesday that defenseman Douglas Murray was signed to a 4-year contract extension. Reports put the deal at 4 years for $10 million. Sharks GM Doug Wilson has locked up the core of the defense for the next several years, Dan Boyle (signed through 2013-14), Marc-Edouard Vlasic (2012-13), Douglas Murray (2012-13), and Christian Ehrhoff (2010-11).

Douglas Murray and Christian Ehrhoff were two of the most improved defenseman on the San Jose Sharks last year. After a spectacular start to the season, Murray finished strong with as much of a shutdown performance as possible against Jarome Iginla in the first round of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Murray simplified his game, played solid positionally and made high percentage plays with the puck.

In the pre-season opener against Anaheim, David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News coined the Douglas Murray hat trick; signing a contract extension, scoring a goal, and winning a fight on the same day. The Sharks and goaltender Thomas Greiss were blitzed by the Anaheim Ducks, allowing 4 third period goals en route to a 6-4 loss. OC Register beat writer Dan Wood noted that it was unusual for J.S. Giguere to play a full game this early in the preseason, but that Ducks coach Randy Carlyle applied a little misdirection on who would start the first game in training camp.

- AskMen.com and The Hockey News predict the Detroit Red Wings will defend their Stanley Cup Championship in 2008-09. Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit's up-tempo puck possession offense, and free agent acquisition of Marian Hossa put the Wings over the top according to the article. Montreal is predicted to win the Eastern Conference, followed by Pittsburgh, Washington, and Philadelphia. San Jose, Minnesota and Dallas round out the top 4 teams from the Western Conference.

- A press release details Yahoo and the NHL's partnership on a co-branded Fantasy Hockey game:

Yahoo! Sports and the NHL to Launch Co-Branded Fantasy Hockey Game

First Co-Branded Fantasy Game Launched by a Sports League and Major Fantasy Provider -- First Fantasy Game to Integrate Player Highlights

Yahoo! and the National Hockey League announced today that Yahoo! Sports will be the official provider of fantasy hockey on NHL.com, and that it will integrate NHL video throughout the game. The agreement represents the first time a sports league has partnered with a major fantasy sports provider to develop a co-branded game, as well as the first fantasy game to have player highlights integrated throughout the offering. The video will be available on team rosters and players lists, and will give fantasy players the ability to watch player videos while they scout and research players for their rosters.

The agreement significantly expands NHL video on Yahoo! Sports, which has offered up to four live NHL games a week through a distribution agreement with Versus.

Alexander Ovechkin Named Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Hockey ’08 Cover Athlete

Alexander Ovechkin, the #1 pick of the 2004 NHL draft and the NHL’s top scorer with 65 goals last season, has teamed up with Yahoo! Sports to encourage fans to play fantasy hockey this year. As one of the top players in the NHL, Ovechkin’s 65 goals and 112 points in his first professional season make him qualified to be hockey fans’ #1 draft choice in Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Hockey ’08. This year’s fantasy hockey game also includes enhanced options such as:

· New Draft Application
· Keeper Leagues
· Improved Navigation
· Enhanced Smack Talk

Fans can register for Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Hockey ’08 at http://hockey.fantasysports.yahoo.com/. This season fans can access the games from the NHL scoreboard, within the hockey fantasy game, and throughout Yahoo! Sports’ hockey editorial content at http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl.

In 2007-08, Yahoo's fantasy hockey (formerly SmallWorld) took a leap forward, integrating scores, highlights, video content and live game broadcast links into its fantasy sports platform. Partering with the NHL to integrate some of this functionality on NHL.com is the next logical step, and it is a powerful one. Combined with Yahoo's hiring of former San Francisco Chronicle beat writer Ross McKeon as NHL editor, and Greg Wyshynski as their NHL blogger, you have to like the direction they are moving in if you are a fan of NHL content.

- Launch of New NHL.com Puts the Complete National Hockey League Experience on Every Fan's Desktop - Marketwatch.com.

- Earlier this summer San Jose's Silver Creek Sportsplex roller skating facility hosted the NARCH national roller hockey championship. From July 11th until July 27th, Silvercreek hosted 426 teams for 1097 total games played. Teams across the U.S. and Canada, as well as from Central America, South America, Europe and Asia were all represented.

From Hockey and Skating Magazine:

"I don't think it's a stretch to say that the 2008 NARCH Finals was the best this sport has ever seen" NARCH president Daryn Goodwin said. "From the number of teams (436), to the quality of the competition, to the facility and their staff, it was just an amazing 17 days of hockey that will be tough to duplicate. We'll of course try our best!"

There were an estimated 15,000 participants and spectators who made their way to Silvercreek for the NARCH tournament. In March and April of 2007, Sharks Ice in San Jose (formerly Logitech Ice) hosted the USA Women's/Girls Hockey Championships. San Jose hosted a three tier 32-team women's tournament, and a four tier 48-team girl's tournament. Sharkspage blog coverage of that tournament is available here, here and here. There were estimates of over 1500 participants and a large number of spectators for that tournament as well.

- Sharks center Jeremey Roenick co-hosted KNTV-11's NBC Sports Sunday along with Raj Mathai. New Sharks head coach Todd McLellan had a brief cameo behind one of the television cameras in studio. Roenick on the injury to Torrey Mitchell, "this is going to be a huge loss for us." I missed the online webcast following the television show, but several fans mentioned it at the Teal and White game. The Sharks uploaded a clip of the show on Sharks.tv here.

- Also seen at the Teal and White game Tuesday night, The Wave Magazine crew were in attendance shooting images for their upcoming Sharks preview issue in October.

- For a quick tour of several NHL training camps, Hockeys Future radio has several informative podcasts available for download. Ben Wright on Atlanta, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch on the Blue Jackets, Arpon Basu of the CP on Montreal, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer and several others are worth a listen. Brad Holland and Shawn Roarke of the NHL also break down some of the leagues best scouts. Holland praised the stacked development system in Los Angeles, noting that there are so many high quality prospects spread through the system that even if some do not pan out the Kings will have an infusion of young talent at the NHL level for many years to come.

Another downloadable podcast note, NHL Radio with E.J. Hradekstarted up again earlier this week and is available on the NHL Network Online. Bob McKenzie's appearance from Monday is available on their podcast central.

For an informative look at the Sharks training camp and preseason situation, visit Mike and Doug at the dudesonhockey.com podcast. One of the hosts was surprised by his wife singing the national anthem on Tuesday at the Teal and White game, the other host is debuting his local hockey radio show Saturday called Chomp Talk (1220AM, 5-6PM).

- Several local college hockey teams kick off the 2008-09 season this weekend. San Jose State opens against Weber St tonight at 8PM, and plays them again Saturday at 7PM (both games at Sharks Ice in San Jose). Santa Clara begins its second season October 4th against Stanford (9PM at Sharks Ice in San Jose). Stanford has 2 games against Sacramento State Sept. 26th and 27th (4:40PM and 7:10PM, both games at the Redwood City Ice Oasis). Cal Berkeley opens 2008-09 October 10th and 11th against UCLA (8:45PM and 5:45PM, both games at the Oakland Ice Center).

[Update] TSN.CA'S 30 teams in 30 days: San Jose Sharks - TSN.

Once again, Joe Thornton was the catalyst of the offence and got some help from unexpected places. Coming off a miserable season with the Coyotes, it appeared that Jeremy Roenick's career was virtually over. But the NHL veteran he was able to hook himself up to the rejuvenation machine and adding leadership and timely goals in San Jose. Although he found the net just 14 times last season, 10 of them were game-winning goals.

Along with Roenick's presence, the Sharks also enjoyed a nice injection of youth as Joe Pavelski, Devin Setoguchi and Torrey Mitchell were able to contribute in their first full seasons. And no player was more important to the Sharks success last year than Evgeni Nabokov. The Russian keeper enjoyed the best season of his career, playing in a career high 77 games posting personal bests of 46 wins and 2.14 goals against average. He also finished runner up to Martin Brodeur in Vezina Trophy voting.

[Update2] Sharks Players To Host Clinic at Oakland Ice - SJsharks.com.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Team White blanks Team Teal 2-0 in annual Teal and White game

2008 Teal and White game

The 2008 Teal and White game Tuesday night was the last opportunity for fans to get a look at many of the San Jose Sharks prospects playing alongside the NHL veterans. Several thousand season ticket holders packed the parking lot and roamed the streets prior to the intra-squad exhibition game at HP Pavilion. Fans could take photos with the Sharks head, get autographs from players, or participate in a post-game skate on the ice after the game.

Rob Blake was the first player introduced by Team Teal, and it is still a shock to see the veteran defenseman in a Sharks uniform. Jeff Friesen drew a large round of applause when introduced by radio announcer Dan Rusanowsky, and Evgeni Nabokov was called, "the best goaltender in the National Hockey League" to loud cheers from the fans. Trent Yawney and Jay Woodcroft were the coaches behind the bench for Team Teal. Defenseman Dan Boyle was also welcomed to the Bay Area by television play by play host Dan Rusanowsky. Todd Richards and Mike Ricci were the coaches for Team White.

The first 30 minute half started with Team White's line of Jamie McGinn, Cory Larose and Brad Staubitz keeping the puck in the offensive zone for an extended period. On an ensuing play, Evgeni Nabokov had trouble corraling a point blank shot as Jonathan Cheechoo and Milan Michalek pounced in front of the net looking for a rebound.

It is hard not to focus on new defensive acquisitions Rob Blake or Dan Boyle. Blake is still a very agile skater despite his enormous size, and he feathered several short passes to help spark a rush in the opposite direction. A touch pass by Blake to Ryane Clowe allowed him to enter the offensive zone with speed, and resulted in a cycle down low by Marleau-Thornton-Clowe. Blake-Vlasic-Marleau-Thornton-Clowe are Team Teal's first power play unit, after a slashing penalty on Derek Joslin, but they can not get the puck deep. Second Teal PP unit consists of Demers-Semenov-Fox-Friesen-Shelley.

After the penalty kill, Dan Boyle stickhandled into the offensive zone for Team White, and hung on to the puck long enough to allow his linemates to get into position down low. While Brian Campbell often skated like he was shot out of a cannon, Boyle is more of a thinking man's defenseman allowing plays to develop or anticipating where the play will be and positioning himself accordingly.

Team Teal's Ryan Vesce uncorked a hard shot that was smothered by Brian Boucher down low, which was followed shortly by defenseman Mike Moore's hit on Milan Michalek against the side boards as the play moved up ice. The 6-foot-1, 190 pound defenseman from Princeton was flying early, and was my player of the first half. Behind his own net he played the stick of another player well, and reacted quickly to knock the puck off the stick of a second player.

The Marleau (220 pounds), Thornton (235 pounds), Clowe (225 pounds) line may not be held together if Marleau moves down to a second line, but the size and strength on the puck of this line is going to create huge matchup problems for opposing teams. On the power play? Forget about it. Shelley hammers Douglas Murray with a check against the end boards, but Murray moves the puck up ice on a second dump in quick enough to avoid being hit by Shelley again.

Cory Larose drops a huge deke on Team Teal defenseman Jason Demers, which opens up a clear lane to the crease. Evgeni Nabokov makes the save, but the move draws a round of applause from the season ticket holders in the stands. #55 Mike Moore almost plants #41 Logan Couture into the Teal Bench door on a Team White rush up ice. First half finishes with a point shot by #36 defenseman Patrick Traverse. The shot was labeled for Nabokov's 5-hole, but Nabokov makes the save and the rebound is cleared up ice as the horn sounds.

Thomas Greiss is in net for Teal Teal, and Kyle Jones is in net for Team White for the second half. Greiss looks a little nervous in net early, but he drops down and stuffs a shot low with heavy traffic around the front of the net. 2007 1st round draft pick Logan Couture executed a slick drop pass in the offensive zone, and circled waiting for a return feed that did not come.

#53 Ryan Vesce, a smaller right wing out of New York who played in the Finnish Elite League last season (26G, 44PTS, 56GP HIFK Helsinki), launched a hard wrist shot from 25-30 feet out that rang of the crossbar. Team White goaltender Kyle Jones was full extended on the play. Jones is a stout figure in goal, he sets for the play very quickly and came far out of the crease several times to cut down angles.

A Grier-Plihal two on one is stopped when Grier can not get the puck over a stick to Plihal. On the way back up the ice, Grier and Plihal collide. It looks like Plihal took the worst of it to his back, but he is soon up on his feet and back on the bench. Team Teal follows with a 2-on-1 of their own, this time with Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton. Slick saucer pass by Marleau, but it bounces on Thornton and he can not control it until he is behind the net. Next shift for the Grier line, he accelerates wide on the left wing while controling the puck with one hand on his stick and the other fending off a defenseman. At the goal line he drops his second hand down and shovels the puck in on Griess, who makes the save with his leg pad.

Team White opens the scoring with Dan Boyle hitting Jonathan Cheechoo at the point with a nice pass. Cheechoo fires a hard shot at the net through traffic. Joe Pavelski got a stick on the play, but Milan Michalek pulled the rebound around Greiss and deposited it in the back of the net.

Joe Pavelski capped off the scoring late in the second half for Team White. The consumate big game offensive threat, Pavelski accelerated down the right side and snapped a hard wrist shot just over the glove of Thomas Greiss and under the crossbar. The unassisted goal by Pavelski made the final 2-0 for Team White over Team Teal.

The Sharks held a shootout exhibition after the game, with 10 fans selecting 5 players from each team to take shots on Thomas Greiss or Kyle Jones. Cheechoo, Clowe, Michalek, Marleau, Ehrhoff, Thornton, Grier, Friesen, Pavelski, Setoguchi, and for some reason Boucher were selected by the fans (Boucher only took a photo, unfortunately he did not take a shootout attempt on Greiss). Ehrhoff was one of the only players to skate to the right for Team White, and Greiss bit on the fellow German's hard should fake to the right. The net was wide open for Ehrhoff's goal. Joe Thornton skated straight down the middle, hesitated with the puck on his backhand, and then let go with an offspeed puck that glided by Kyle Jones 5-hole. Jeff Friesen stickhandled several times, almost losing the puck in the process, before tapping the puck past Jones 5-hole. Team Teal won the shootout exhibition 2-1.

[Update] Ryan Garner of Hockeybuzz notes the rough line combinations in his Teal and White recap:

Team White

Buckley- Moore

Evgeni Nabokov
Thomas Greiss

Team Teal


Brian Boucher
Kyle Jones

[Update2] Pavelski stars for Teal and White game - SJsharks.com.

[Update3] The Sharks also announced today that the training camp roster was reduced by 18 players, leaving 45 remaining. Those released include: RW Rick Cleaver, D Julien Demers, LW P.J. Fenton, C Matt Fornataro, C T.J. Fox, D Samuel Groulx, RW Matt Jones, LW Frazer McLaren, G Timo Pielmeier, RW Ashton Rome, G Tyson Sexsmith, D Brett Westgarth, LW Jonathan Bonneau, D Adam Leblanc-Bourque, RW Zach Harnden, RW Matthew Pistilli, RW Tyler Shattock, and C Mathieu Tousignant.

Boston College Selected as Preseason No. 1 in USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll

A press release from USA Hockey:

Boston College Selected as Preseason No. 1 in USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Defending national champion Boston College will enter the 2008-09 season with the preseason No. 1 ranking in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men’s College Hockey Poll. The Eagles collected 490 points and 27-of-34 first-place votes to top the chart.

The University of Michigan, which finished with 432 points and four first-place votes, is No. 2 in the poll. Last year’s national runner-up, the University of Notre Dame (376), sits in the No. 3 spot, while the University of North Dakota (371) and Colorado College (355) round out the top five.

Action for the 2008-09 season begins on Thursday (September 25), as the University of Alaska Anchorage hosts the U.S. National Under-18 Team for an exhibition game. NOTES: The Western Collegiate Hockey Association leads all conferences with six teams on the poll. The Central Collegiate Hockey Association has five teams ranked, while Hockey East has three teams and ECAC Hockey claims one team on the poll … A total of 26 teams received votes … This marks the fifth time Boston College has been ranked No. 1 (1998-99, 1999-2000, 2004-05 and 2006-07) on the first USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll of the season.

USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll - #1 (Preseason)

(first place votes in parenthesis, 2007-08 Final Rank, 2007-08 Record)

1 Boston College, 490 (27), 1, 25-11-8
2 University of Michigan, 432 (4) 2, 33-6-4
3 University of Notre Dame, 376, 3, 27-16-4
4 University of North Dakota, 371 (1), 4, 28-11-4
5 Colorado College, 355 (2), 8, 28-12-1
6 University of Denver, 299, 9, 26-14-1
7 University of New Hampshire, 287, 6, 25-10-3
8 Miami (Ohio) University, 263, 5, 33-8-1
9 University of Minnesota, 223, 12, 19-17-9
10 Boston University, 203, NR, 19-17-4
11 Clarkson University, 173, 10, 22-13-4
12 Michigan State University, 159, 7, 25-12-5
13 University of Wisconsin, 103, 13, 16-17-7
14 Northern Michigan University, 75

ABOUT THE POLL: The 14th annual USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men’s College Hockey Poll is conducted each week in conjunction with the American Hockey Coaches Association. The poll includes input from coaches and journalists representing each of the six NCAA Division I ice hockey conferences, as well as composite votes from officers of the AHCA and USA Hockey Magazine, the most widely distributed hockey magazine in the world.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

GJ Berg: 9/22 Camp, scrimmage

GJ Berg: 9/21, Camp, scrimmage

In-depth KNBR radio interview with Sharks head coach Todd McLellan previews the upcoming season

San Jose Sharks Earthquakes soccer

KNBR 680AM drive time hosts Ralph Barbieri and Tom Tolbert conducted a very informative interview with Sharks head coach Todd McLellan prior to the start of training camp last Tuesday. Available for download here (mp3), McLellan discusses the ownership group in San Jose and the pressure to perform that his coaching staff and the players will feel this season, notes that the book on San Jose from a Detroit perspective started with Evgeni Nabokov in net and continued with large forwards cycling the puck down low, explains the factors that lead to playoff success, disagrees with sentiments that the Red Wings or the Sharks were "soft" teams, and describes how players with Stanley Cup winning experience can offer leadership in the locker room.

Selected comments from San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan are below:

"It is an excellent organization, the ownership group is fabulous. It allows coaches, players and management an opportunity to be successful by allowing us to do some of the things we have done over the summer. Also with it comes responsibility, and any time you have responsibility, you have pressure to perform. I as the coach, and the players, are well aware of that."

"Expectations are high in San Jose, and they should be. There is a tremendous group of players assembled here, and they have been a good hockey club for a number of years. People are anxiously awaiting for somebody, or a group of players, to take up the moment. There is no guarantee that will happen, but we are going to do everything possible to statisfy that."

"(The book on San Jose from Detroit) You have to start with Nabby. Throughout the game there needs to be pressure on Nabby to beat him. If you were going to play against the Sharks and end up with 20-22 shots on goal, you were'nt going to be them. We knew we had to get the puck to the net an awful lot, and try to crash the net and put pressure on them. The next area we looked at was there forwards. We thought there forwards were big and strong, able to cycle the puck down low. Some of their high end players, Thornton and Marleau, we had to be very aware of. Obviously also Cheechoo's shot. On the back end, one of the things we didn't think the Sharks did as much, and I would like to change, was activate their dmen as much on the rush. We weren't as concerned with that as we were with other teams."

"There are a number of variables (that go into playoff success). The first thing you have to do is to build a foundation. Coaches say it all the time, you don't necessarily win championships in the last game of the season. In the playoffs, you start building that foundation in training camp... Winning is hard. The Detroit teams I was involved with, that first team when we lost in 05 or 06 to Edmonton, I thought that was the best team I was a part of in Detroit. We won 59 games that year, and didn't quite get it done. All 30 teams in the NHL want to win, that is a given. Not all 30 teams in the NHL have the skill to win. The team that sticks to its game plan longer and harder, has a little bit of luck, maybe some good scheduling and stays healthy certainly has the best chance of winning when it comes down to June."

"(Soft) is usually a word that is thrown out there for teams that don't have success, for whatever reason. I don't know if it is fair. I can speak for the Red Wings organization because I have lived it and I have seen it. Apparently the Red Wings were soft, and that was the furthest thing from the truth I have ever seen. Usualy it is all the media people whoa re trying to find a story to write about why a team fails. I know the Red Wings team wasn't soft. When Detroit came here to play, soft was the furthest thing from our mind. Guys left with bumps and bruises. It was a competitive game. There was nothing free when you play against the San Jose Sharks. I expect that to continue."

"Doug Wilson is very focused on winning. What I have found is that Doug is much more focused on the process of winning. We have to do it the right way, day in and day out. The winning will take care of itself. That is the initial phase. What I can bring to the team, experience. At mile 22, I have to give them that push. At this point, I don't know what that could be, maybe a tactical thing, maybe it could be a motivational thing. All the little adjustments as we go along, I have to look back upon my experiences and draw upon them."

"The great thing about this team is the number of people who have won a Stanley Cup on this team, Dan Boyle, Lukowich, Rob Blake, Jay Woodcroft who was with me in Detroit, Mike Ricci is also in the organization. When I walk into the locker room at whatever stage of the season and say 'Guys we need to do these things, or we don't have a chance', and I walk back out, the guys who think I am crazy are going to have to look across the locker room at guys who have won it and hopefully I will have a strong backup."

"(Traffic in front of the net) The reciever isn't always going to the end zone if the football is not going to be there. The puck has to be thrown at the net. That will draw people down there. It is my job to get them to shoot the puck. It is my job to get them to go to the net. The rewards are there, the game isn't as tough as it used to be. I expect everyone in our lineup to get their noses dirty, to find some of the garbage goals, the playoff goals if you want to call them that. We have to start scoring those goals not in April and May, but in September and October."

"The one thing Dan Boyle has that Brian Campbell doesn't, is a ring on his finger".

[Update] The Sharks TV channel on the NHL Network online posted two video interviews with San Jose Sharks assistant coach Jay Woodcroft. Woodcroft, a former video coach for the Detroit Red Wings, discussed moving out West, how his role will be expanded from a video coach to an assitant coach, and how some of the lessons learned from the last few years will help the Sharks move forward. Assitant coach Todd Richards, a longtime player and former head coach of the AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, discussed how he was approached for the assitant coaching position (quickly), that it was his dream to coach in the NHL, and that his experience with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will help with some of the challenges that occur during a long NHL season.

Trent Yawney, the Sharks third assitant coach, served as a scout for the Anaheim Ducks and head coach of Team Canada's u-18 Word Championship team. The 12-season NHL veteran defenseman also coached the AHL Norfolk Admirals for 5 season, and assisted Lorne Molleken behind the bench in Chicago. The San Jose Sharks also recently brought in former Toronto Maple Leafs GM John Ferguson, former Selke Trophy winner and Tampa Bay Lightning scout Dirk Graham, Swedish-based former Atlanta Thrashers scout Shin Larsson, and former Carolina Hurricanes scout Jason Rowe to fill out the scouting ranks under Tim Burke in San Jose.

Monday, September 22, 2008

GJ Berg: 9/20 Camp, scrimmage

Two longtime bloggers moving on

Two longtime bloggers are moving on, or moving to new locations. Jes Golbez is retiring from blogging. The former Hockeys Future and McKeens Hockey contributor was a wealth of hockey information from Slovakia and the Czech Republic, and Jes had a penchant for following players in an offbeat and entertaining fashion.

San Jose's own Mike Chen moved from his personal site to part of the Kukla's Korner news empire. The FoxSports.com contributor is a solid source for informed hockey analysis and opinion. Mike's views can also occasionally be found at the Battle of California hockey blog.

Ducks rookies edged Sharks rookies last week in Las Vegas

The Sharks and Ducks rookies held a pair of scrimmages before playing a complete game last Tuesday at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The Sharks downed Anaheim 4-2 in the first scrimmage, with 2002 1st round draft selection Mike Morris scoring 2 goals. Anaheim’s Matt Stephanision and Matthew Caruana scored to give the Ducks rookies a 2-1 win in the second scrimmage on Monday night setting the stage for the lone rookie exhibition game.

The Ducks rookies earned a 3-2 win over the Sharks rookies in front of 2,304 fans in Las Vegas on Tuesday. Mike Morris and P.J. Fenton scored for the Sharks, but Ryan Dingle, Charlie Kronschnabel and Nicolas Descamps scored for Anaheim. J.P. Levasseur earned the victory with 22 saves on 23 shots against. San Jose goaltending prospect Tyler Sexsmith stopped 18 of 21 shots.

The San Jose Sharks posted video clips of the first and second scrimmages on the NHL Network Online.

[Update] Sharks 2008 training camp preview - Hockeys Future.

Christian Ehrhoff and Marcel Goc participated in the cerimonial first kick for the Earthquakes-Houston soccer game

San Jose Sharks Earthquakes soccer
San Jose Sharks Earthquakes soccer

A little over a week ago, Sharks defenseman Christian Ehrhoff and center Marcel Goc participated in the cerimonal first kick during the 1-1 tie between MLS rivals San Jose and Houston. In addition to first kick from Ehrhoff and Goc, the Earthquakes also aired an extended hockey highlight clip at halftime, and each player picked two seperate sections to receive fan appreciation prizes.

The game itself was very intense. San Jose captain Nick Garcia predicted a prize fight between the two teams, and and the Earthquakes and first placed Houston Dynamo traded offensive chances until San Jose's Ronnie O'Brien opened the scoring in the 50th minute. Former Quake Brian Ching scored the equalizing goal for Houston in the 71st minute. The game devolved into very physical play, with Pat Onstad punctuating the home crowd's displeasure of giving up a late lead by earning a delay of game penalty in the 93rd minute. The Earthquakes remain unbeaten in their last 9 games, but need to string together wins with 5 Western Conference teams tied or within 2 points of the final non-wildcard playoff spot. The SJ-HOU rematch originally scheduled for last Saturday in Houston has been postponed until October 15th due to the damage suffered by Hurrican Ike.

The crossover between fans of the San Jose Sharks and San Jose Earthquakes is fairly strong. In somewhat of a role reversal, several tailgating Sharks fans offered guarded optimism of the upcoming NHL season with new defenseman Rob Blake and Dan Boyle and new head coach Todd McLellan, but were brimming with confidence over the Earthquakes playoff chances with new additions Darren Huckerby, Scott Sealy, Arturo Alvarez and Francisco Lima.

The Sharks should benefit somewhat from the target the Detroit Red Wings will have on their back as defending champion. At times last season, the media infatuation with Anaheim, Dallas and San Jose allowed the Wings to sail under the radar. That the Earthquakes are in a position to make a playoff run this late in the season is almost inconceivable given their rough start. Solid goaltending (by Los Altos native Joe Cannon), along with a stiff defense and midfield now benefits from a creative attack that can cause problems from either side of the field. The Quakes have a dogfight just to remain in the playoff picture during the stretch run. The Sharks have the depth and talent to emerge from a marathon regular season primed for another long run at a Stanley Cup.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Max Giese: Prospect Profile - Kyle Jones

Kyle Jones

This summer the Worcester Sharks, the top affiliate of the National Hockey League’s San Jose Sharks, signed goaltender Kyle Jones out of St. Norbert College. Jones, who led St. Norbert to the NCAA Division III championship this past March, fashioned one of the best careers in Division III hockey history. The winningest goaltender in Division III history at 87-10-8, he had a career 1.61 goals against average and .926 save percentage with 25 shutouts. In 2007-08, Jones was 21-1-3 with a 1.09 goals against average, .950 save percentage and 10 shutouts en route to being named NCAA Division III Player of the Year.

Beginning his professional career this summer by attending the San Jose Sharks rookie camp in July and then their main camp in September, Jones put on the teal jersey for the first time during a prospects game against the Anaheim Ducks. "I thought Jones played pretty well. Both goals that they scored on him were solid. They ripped their shots past him" said Worcester Sharks' Head Coach Roy Sommer following the game. Jones, a native of North Delta, British Columbia, is a stout 6-foot-0 200 pounds and is already a matured 25 year-old prospect. He's economical in his movements and a few of his strengths are his game reading ability and sharp foot-work.

Kyle Jones

Sharkspage recently had the opportunity to catch up with Kyle and gather his thoughts on his first professional training camp, his playing career, and his thoughts on being a Sharks prospect.

Sharkspage: What do you feel are your strengths and weaknesses?

Jones: I think some of my strengths would have to be my calm demeanor in the net. I never get down on myself during a game, but I also never get too high on myself either. As for weaknesses, it has been an adjustment coming from college and skating with some of the players at the NHL level. I think I am still in need of getting quicker to catch up to some of the quick release shots.

Sharkspage: How did you reach such a dominant level consistently during your time at St.Norbert's?

Jones: St. Norbert has always had a great coaching staff that prides themselves on getting the most out of their players. It's simple, if you do what your told on the ice and you do it right the first time, you will see significant playing time. I was able to realize that quickly in my college career, and my coaches and I had a great relationship from then on.

Sharkspage: What's your scouting report on the other goaltending prospects Timo Pielmeier and Tyson Sexsmith?

Jones: Timo and Tyson are two amazing young goalies. I can see exactly why the Sharks drafted both of them, as it is evident in every single practice and scrimmage. Timo is very reactionary, and has extremely quick reflexes. Tyson on the other hand is very calm and cool and plays a very good positional game. They both should see a great deal of success in the future either with the Sharks, or somewhere else in the NHL.

Sharkspage: When did the Sharks begin to show interest in you and what was it that made you decide this was the best fit for you?

Jones: After our team at St. Norbert won the Division 3 National Title last season, there were three or four NHL scouts who attended the Frozen Four. Upon returning to school, three of them were in contact with my coach and I was informed that there was interest. It became evident that the Sharks were the best fit because they were the only team who continued to make calls to talk to me and my coach, and they also put a call in to my Dad which was a nice surprise for him.

Sharkspage: You now have had the opportunity to face shots from some of the Sharks most talented prospects. Who has the most accurate shot and who has the hardest shot?

Jones: Well, it took a few practices to adjust and try to figure out everyone on the ice, but a number of players have very hard, accurate shots. Steve Zalewski and Matt Fornataro are two who come to mind that are very accurate, while Mike Moore and Derek Joslin have intimidating shots from the point.

Sharkspage: What has the jump from Division-3 to an NHL camp been like for you?

Jones: Moving from division-3 to NHL has been an enormous change for me. Every player who comes down the ice in practice has the ability to put the puck wherever they want. Everything they do is so precise, every pass is tape to tape, every shot is as hard as possible, and every person keeps working until the puck is either frozen by me, or in the net.

Sharkspage: What have the Sharks directed you on specifically to work on and improve your game?

Jones: Cory Schwab and Wayne Thomas have been advising me ever since development camp back in July. They obviously know what they are talking about so every chance they need to tell me something, I am definitely going to listen. In July, they adjusted my stance a little bit, as I was leaning a little bit too far forward. Also, they have had me work on my patience, especially during screen shots from the point. There have been a number of other minor tweaks to my game, and I appreciate everything that these two coaches have to tell me because I know it will only make me better.

Sharkspage: Have you set any goals for yourself heading into the season?

Jones: My personal goals for any season are just to improve my game as much as possible. Whether it be getting in better shape, working on a new way to make a save, or practicing three times a day, I'm going to do whatever it takes to make myself better. From a team standpoint, my goal is to do whatever it takes to help my team win. If I'm playing in the games I'm going to do my best to stop every puck that comes my way. If I'm backing up on the bench, I'm going to cheer on my team as much as possible.

Sharkspage: The Sharks are known for developing young goaltenders better than anyone. Describe your experience of being coached by them over the summer and fall?

Jones: I tried to take everything that the coaches told me at development camp and apply it to my training in Wisconsin. I did one on one training with a goaltending coach and we did drills that would work those specific things I was told to work on. I was asked to bring down my weight as well, and try to reduce my body fat. Hours in the gym and eating a healthy diet helped me obtain my goals over the summer, and I was able to slim down and develop my game. This prepared me immensly for the rookie camp, and now the training camp with the NHL players.

Sharkspage: What was the rookie game at Las Vegas like and how do you feel you performed there?

Jones: Las Vegas was a blast. It was nice to be able to travel with the other rookies and spend some time outside of San Jose together. Many of us didn't really know each other, but it was nice to see how many of the players stuck up for their team mates during the games. I played in Monday's game, and we skated to a 2-1 loss. I felt good in the net and had some decent saves, but we were unable to pull off the win. My first taste of a game at this level was a fun experience, it was just too bad it couldn't be a win.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

GJ Berg: 9/13 Rookie practice

The rookies arrived at camp on Friday in preparation for a rookie tournament against the Anaheim Duck rookies in Las Vegas, NV, on Tuesday 9/16. (David Pollak reports on Friday's action.)

On Saturday, the late morning practice session was open to the public. A very small crowd watched the young prospects and camp invitees. (Roster here.)

Forward line combinations included:


M Jones-Couture-Cleaver

F McLaren-Tousignant-Pistilli



Worcester Assistant Coach David Cunniff ran most of the practice, with Worcester Head Coach Roy Sommer assisting. Sharks Goalie Development Coach Corey Schwab worked with the goalies, with San Jose Sharks Assistant GM/Worcester Sharks GM Wayne Thomas helping out.

Practice ran about 90 minutes, with a number of different drills, covering passing, breakouts, work along the boards and more. And toward the end a short scrimmage allowing them to put into practice what was learned.

The top line, wearing orange, did stand out some, as they may be together in Worcester this season. Timo Pielmeier also stood out as the goalie wearing Sharks colors (and a lot of orange in his pads); Tyson Texsmith was wearing black pads, and Kyle Jones was wearing white.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Max Giese: Prospect Profile - Frazer McLaren

A 6-5, 230-pound behemoth, Frazer McLaren finished with 164 penalty minutes last-season in the Western Hockey League. The left-winger also had 19 goals and 40 points in 66 games. He signed an NHL contract with San Jose last spring and joined the Worcester Sharks for 4 games, where he added an assist and compiled 17 penalty minutes. The Sharks drafted Frazer in the seventh round, 203rd overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. "He has great size and is a tough kid" said San Jose Sharks scout Pat Funk, who was largely responsible for the selection of Frazer.

McLaren is regarded as a heavy-weight fighter that can protect his teammates and open up the ice for his line-mates. He's equally effective knocking out opponents with his big paws or his glass rattling body checks. But, for McLaren to make the NHL he will need to prove himself as more than just a fighter. In the WHL he scored 19 goals in two consecutive seasons and has proven himself to be effective with the puck on his stick near the goalmouth "He's strong in front of the net and on the wall" noted Funk. The 20 year old McLaren will be asked to be strong in traffic areas and stick up for his line-mates this season in the AHL "We have supplied him with DVDs of Ryan Clowe and want Frazer to emulate him" said Funk. Ryan will never be confused for a skilled, finesse forward and still has plenty of work ahead of him before making the NHL "He needs to quicken his pace and continue to work on his feet" says Funk.

Scouting Report: Has a nice flow to his stride for a big man – gets low and extends through .. needs to upgrade his quickness, accelerate his foot-speed, and add strength to his stride .. owns an enormous reach and shields the puck well .. not a flashy puckhandler and is reliant on his protection skills to carry the puck up ice .. a handful for opponents to defend deep inside the offensive zone and does an exceptional job cycling the puck .. isn’t static offensively and works well in space – moves his feet and fights off checks well with great balance .. scores most of his goals within 5 feet of the net – goes straight to the net at any opportunity and effectively plants himself there .. displays decent patience and touch around the net, with the hand-eye coordination to successfully tip the puck on net .. often draws double teams or penalties when attacking the net ..not a creative player, but sees the ice well enough to identify the open man and has enough skill to deliver passes accurately .. senses the game well and is often in correct position, allowing the play to come to him .. plays a structured defensive game by taking good angles to the puck and getting his colossal stick in opponent’s passing lanes .. a bone rattling hitter that is a warrior in the fighting circle with a deadly right hand .. willing to fight or throw the big hit to jump-start his team .. surprisingly cerebral in approach and could increase his motor at times, although he isn’t lazy and utilizes stops-and-starts away from the puck.

Wearing #68, expect McLaren to stir things up at training-camp before being sent to Worcester for the 2008-2009 season. Frazer had a strong prospects game against the Anaheim Ducks and a couple of his fights can be seen below.

McLaren vs. Stu Bickel:
McLaren vs. Jason Bailey

Thursday, September 18, 2008

GJ Berg: Where has the summer gone (news)

With the fall equinox on Monday and Sharks (veteran) camp staring Saturday, it really feels like the end of summer. So here are some stories you might have missed (or have been simmering) all summer.

Sharks additions:

  • Rob Blake, Dan Boyle, Brad Lukowich (NHL players acquired via free agency, trade, trade, respectively)
  • Frazer McLaren, Steve Zalewski (draftees who will be playing pro this season)
  • Matt Jones, Mike Moore, Brendan Buckley, Cory Larose, Matt Kinch, Brett Westgarth, Ryan Vesce (new free agents signed to NHL contracts)
  • Kyle Jones, Matt Fornataro (new free agents signed to AHL contracts)
  • Todd McLellan, Todd Richards, Trent Yawney, Jay Woodcroft; Corey Schwab (new coach and assistants)
  • Jeff Freisen (camp invitee)
  • Jamie Carroll, Dominic Osman (AHL camp invitees)

Shark subtractions

  • Craig Rivet, Matt Carle, Ty Wishart (traded)
  • Brian Campbell, Patrick Rissmiller, Sandis Ozolinsh, Dimitri Patzold, Curtis Brown, Nate Raduns, Graham Mink, Mike Iggulden; Dan Spang, Jonathan Tremblay; Brennan Evans (lost to free agency)
  • David MacDonald (retired)
  • Ron Wilson, Rob Zettler, Tim Hunter. Cap Raeder. Grahame Townsend. (coaching staff and scouts move on)
Sharks training camp information and rosters. First scrimmages/practices open to public 9/20.

Sharks 2008-2009 schedule with TV information.

Sharks (SVSE) work to develop ice facility in Pleasanton.

Sharks pick up seven prospects at the NHL Entry Draft, including one pair of twins.

As it stands today, the Sharks are over the cap and have some decisions to make about the NHL roster going forward.

Away from the Tank....

One of the longer summer sagas has been that of Nashville's Alexander Radulov, who left the team with one year remaining on his NHL entry contract and signed a multi-year deal to play in the new Russian Kontinental Hockey League. This has resulted in a lot of rhetoric between the NHL and the KHL with the IIHF having to attempt to interceed. Currently, Radulov is playing in Russia and the NHL and KHL are attempting to mediate a resolution.

Another pasttime this summer was guess if/where players will play. This included Jaromir Jagr leaving the bright lights of Broadway for the KHL, Joe Sakic deciding to return for one more year with Colorado, and Mats Sundin being undecided for more than 2.5 months and counting.

Earlier this summer, the Toronto media circus was trying to figure out which GM the Maple Leafs might want to hire (and ending up hiring none, keeping interim GM Cliff Fletcher in place for now), with Anaheim GM Brian Burke rumored to be a top candidate (who still has another year of contract with Anaheim).

CP has a nice summary of who went where and some of the team-specific summer highlights.

San Jose Sharks 2008-09 television schedule released, Comcast to air 73 Sharks games, Versus schedule features 3 Sharks games

Earlier this month Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area released their schedule of San Jose Sharks games for the 2008-09 NHL season. Spread across Comcast Sports Net Bay Area, Comcast Sports Net Bay Area Plus and Comcast Sports Net HD, the local sports network will broadcast 73 games this season, with 70 scheduled to air on the main CSNBA channel and 40 in high definition. Comcast follows the successful Giants pre-game and post-game highlight show model, debuting CSNBA's Sharks Pregame Live and Sharks Postgame Live shows with play-by-play announcer Randy Hahn and television analyst Drew Remenda.

The Sharks begin the first of 6 intra-division games against the Anaheim Ducks in the season opening contest at HP Pavilion Thursday, October 9th. The Sharks finished 3-8 against the Ducks in a tightly contested rivalry last season which saw the first three games end in a shootout (1-2). Five of the games were decided by only 1 goal.

The Versus 2008-09 NHL schedule will feature the San Jose Sharks three times on Tuesday Feb 10th at Boston, Monday Feb 23rd at Dallas and Tuesday April 7th against Colorado. According to a league press release, the 56-game Versus television schedule will kick off with the second day of the New York Rangers vs Tampa Bay Lightning season opening series live from Prague at 9AM (PT) Sunday Oct. 5th, the Pittsburgh Penguins vs the Ottawa Senators live from Stockholm at 11:30AM (PT). The CBC will air the first 2 games on Saturday.

The Sharks will appear twice on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, Saturday December 6th at home against Edmonton and Saturday January 10th at home against Vancouver. The Sharks will also appear twice on TSN at home against the Vancouver Canucks (Dec 23, Jan 20), and for the first time each broadcast on TSN this season will feature at least one Canadian team.

After showcasing the second NHL Winter Classic on New Year's Day (weather permitting the Chicago Blackhawks vs the Detroit Red Wings from Wrigley Field), NBC will work with the NHL to develop another flexible game-of-the-week schedule airing 9 Sunday afternoon games in addition to games 3-7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The NHL Network will air 75 games in the United States, 40 games in Canada.

San Jose Sharks 2008-09 television schedule


SUN 12, @ Los Angeles - 6:00PM, CSN
FRI 17, @ Anaheim - 7:00PM, CSN-HD
WED 22, @ Philadelphia - 4:00PM, CSN
FRI 24, @ Florida - 4:30PM, CSN
SAT 25, @ Tampa Bay - 4:30PM


SUN 2, @ Colorado - 5:00PM, CSN
SUN 9, @ Phoenix - 5:00PM
THU 13, CALGARY - 7:30PM, CSN+
SUN 16, @ Chicago - 4:00PM, CSN-HD
MON 17, @ Nashville - 5:00PM, CSN
FRI 28, @ Dallas - 5:30PM, CSN+%
SAT 29, @ Phoenix - 6:00PM


SAT 13, ST. LOUIS - 7:30PM, CSN+%
MON 15, @ Los Angeles - 7:30PM
WED 17, @ Columbus - 4:00PM
THU 18, @ Detroit - 4:30PM, CSN
SAT 27, @ St. Louis - 5:30PM, CSN
MON 29, @ Dallas - 5:30PM, CSN-HD
WED 31, @ Minnesota - 3:00PM


TUE 6, @ Calgary - 7:00PM, CSN
FRI 9, @ Edmonton - 6:00PM, CSN
SAT 10, @ Vancouver - 7:00PM
JAN 24-25 All Star Weekend in Montreal
TUE 27, @ Colorado - 6:00PM, CSN
SAT 31, CHICAGO - 7:30PM, CSN+%


SAT 7, @ Columbus - 4:00PM, CSN
TUE 10, @ Boston - 4:00PM, VERSUS
WED 11, @ Pittsburgh - 4:30PM, CSN
FRI 13, @ Buffalo - 4:30PM, CSN
SUN 15, @ New Jersey - Noon, CSN
MON 23, @ Dallas - 5:00PM, VERSUS
WED 25, @ Detroit - 4:30PM, CSN-HD
THU 26, @ Ottawa - 4:30PM, CSN
SAT 28, @ Montreal - 4:00PM, CSN


SAT 7, @ Vancouver - 7:00PM, CSN
TUE 10, @ Minnesota - 5:00PM, CSN
THU 12, @ St. Louis - 5:30PM
SUN 15, @ Anaheim - 5:00PM, CSN-HD
TUE 17, @ Phoenix - 7:00PM, CSN+%
WED 25, @ Chicago - 5:30PM
THU 26, @ Nashville - 5:00PM, CSN
SAT 28, PHOENIX - 7:30PM, CSN+%
MON 30, @ Calgary - 6:30PM, CSN


THU 2, @ Edmonton - 6:30PM, CSN+
SUN 5, @ Anaheim - 5:00PM, CSN-HD
SAT 11, @ Los Angeles - 1:00PM, CSN

(CSN = Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, CSN-HD = Comcast SportsNet High Definition, CSN+ = Comcast SportsNet Bay Area PLUS, CSN% = Comcast SportsNet Bay Area PLUS/joined in progress on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, VERSUS = Versus, PR = CSNBA pre-game show, PO = CSNBA post-game show)

Source: SJ Sharks media relations