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The Daily Chum: Battles heating up

Timo Meier is out for a month, giving somebody an opportunity.

NHL: Preseason-San Jose Sharks at Vancouver Canucks Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Timo Meier has mononucleosis and will be out for a month — that’s the bad news. It’s particularly disappointing because I feel he had a real good chance to make the team out of training camp, but now this opens a roster spot for somebody else. That’s good news for someone and it’ll be very interesting to see who snags the spot.

Nikolay Goldobin had an assist in the Sharks’ 3-2 win over the Coyotes last night and Marcus Sorensen had three shots on goal. Kevin Labanc had a pair of shots on goal and has impressed so far while Ryan Carpenter scored in last night’s win.

Carpenter may have a leg up on the competition given his season with the Barracuda last year (he led the team with 55 points in 66 games) but I’d like to see one of the Sharks’ higher rated prospects get a chance at the NHL level. There’s still plenty of preseason action to come which will help determine that, of course, including Sunday’s game in Vancouver (which will be streamed online, FYI).

Adam Helewka also had a point in last night’s game, while Tomas Hertl scored and Dylan Demelo picked up the overtime winner. That’s good news for Demelo, who is similarly battling for a spot on the Sharks’ roster after performing relatively well in fill-in duty last year.

Patrick McNally took four shots on goal and Tim Heed had three, both of which are encouraging signs from the young defenders. The Sharks outshot the Coyotes 36-22 and 15 of those shots came from the San Jose defenders. Just think what it would have looked like if Brent Burns was out there.

In his first action of the preseason Aaron Dell saved 20 of the 22 shots he saw, a fine performance all things considered. He entered training camp as the favorite to back up Martin Jones and unless something disastrous happens I feel it’s his job to lose. Stranger things have happened, though.

So with under two weeks to go until opening night, things are a bit tighter and more interesting than I would’ve guessed entering training camp. Meier’s absence, disappointing though it is, gives someone an opportunity to step up. I’m excited to see who takes the opportunity.