San Jose finished its preseason slate with seven out of 12 points in six games. That’s not too shabby, especially considering its three wins came without the likes of Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski in the lineup. Preseason wins mean just about nothing, but I like how the young guys played in limited action with the Sharks.
Now we’re just two days removed from the Sharks’ season opener against the Kings at SAP Center and it seems like we’ve got a pretty good idea of what the roster will look like. Marcus and I will record a podcast once we know who will be on the opening night roster, but some educated guesses can guide us very close to what I think the official lineup will be.
First off, expect just about everyone from last year’s squad to make the team along with the two free agent acquisitions. Yes, that means the young ghuys are a long shot to crack the roster, which would only be surprising if this is the first time you’d ever paid attention to a team coached by Pete DeBoer.
So this is expected. Tommy Wingels and Matt Nieto will make the team, even if that means Kevin Labanc and Nikolay Goldobin begin the campaign with the San Jose Barracuda. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, in fairness. If you live in the area, buying season tickets to see the ‘Cuda might not be a bad idea.
Of course the deep Barracuda roster bodes well for what the Sharks hope to do in the near future. When Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton are gone, San Jose is going to need some help. Labanc and company can’t replace those guys, but they’ll certainly be better than nothing.
So with two games to play, I like where the Sharks sit. They’re not a perfect team by any means, but I think San Jose is the best team in the Western Conference. That bodes well for a team that’s Stanley Cup window may be just about closed.