SAN JOSE — The Sharks will ice another young lineup tomorrow in Vancouver, except in net, according to head coach Pete DeBoer.
Martin Jones will make his first start of the preseason tomorrow in his hometown, DeBoer said. The Sharks will be less experienced in front of Jones in order to evaluate the players still competing for a roster spot, DeBoer said.
“I didn’t want to make decisions on young guys with one game,” DeBoer said. “You come in, there’s butterflies, there’s pressure. I wanted to let them settle in and see a little body of work, or however much we can without jeopardizing our preparation.”
Ryan Carpenter, Nikolay Goldobin, Barclay Goodrow, Kevin Labanc, Mirco Mueller, and Dylan DeMelo were among the first players off of the ice from the Sharks’ training camp group consisting primarily of NHL players. Those players have played in each of the Sharks’ first two preseason games, and DeBoer said he wants to see them in a third.
Tomas Hertl and Joonas Donskoi also came off, and will travel tomorrow to Vancouver. Meanwhile, veterans Justin Braun, Brenden Dillon, Paul Martin, Matt Nieto, Joe Pavelski, David Schlemko, Chris Tierney and Joel Ward remained on the ice for a full-ice one-on-one, two-on-two, and three-on-three drill. Dillon, Nieto, Tierney, and Schlemko will also travel with the team to Vancouver tomorrow.
Carpenter, Goldobin, Goodrow, and Labanc are among the forwards vying for a roster spot. Each has different strengths and weaknesses, meaning the Sharks could opt to rotate those players into the lineup depending on the look an opponent presents, DeBoer said. Goodrow, in particular, could provide a skillset that the Sharks lacked after they didn’t re-sign Dainius Zubrus and Nick Spaling, according to DeBoer.
“He’s doing a great job as a big body, heavy guy along the wall,” DeBoer said. “We moved guys like that on.”
DeBoer said he has to make tougher decisions about his lineup this fall than he had to a year ago. But that’s a good thing, according to the Sharks head coach.
“[Tougher decisions are] what you want in any organization. It speaks to the depth.” DeBoer said.
Marleau misses, but World Cup players back at Sharks Ice
After leaving the third period of last night’s preseason game against Vancouver with what DeBoer called “a little bit of a bug,” Patrick Marleau did not skate with the Sharks this morning.
“He’s just a little under the weather. Nothing serious,” DeBoer said, before adding that he expects Marleau to be back on Tuesday, which will be the Sharks’ first practice following tomorrow night’s preseason game in Vancouver.
While Marleau was not at Sharks Ice today, the last remnants of the Sharks’ World Cup contingent was. Mikkel Boedker, Brent Burns, Logan Couture, Joe Thornton and Marc-Edouard Vlasic were all back today, according to DeBoer.
“It’s a different energy when those guys are in the building,” DeBoer said. “It was nice to have them back.”
Pete DeBoer said previously that he expects those five players to rejoin the team in full on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Based on who is traveling with the team to Vancouver tomorrow, and how the lines looked at practice on Saturday, I would expect the Sharks’ lines to look like this:
Nikolay Goldobin-Tomas Hertl-Joonas Donskoi
Matt Nieto-Chris Tierney-Kevin Labanc
Barclay Goodrow-Tommy Wingels-Melker Karlsson
Marcus Sorensen-Ryan Carpenter-Alex Gallant
Daniel O’Regan (scr.)
Brenden Dillon-David Schlemko
Mirco Mueller-Dylan DeMelo
Dan Kelly-Julius Bergman
Joakim Ryan (scr.)
Troy Grosenick (scr.)