SAN JOSE — Martin Jones was the first goaltender off of the ice at the Sharks’ optional morning skate, and Micheal Haley was among the first skaters to leave the rink ahead of San Jose’s game against the Anaheim Ducks tonight.
Matt Nieto and Dylan DeMelo were the last two players off, and will likely be scratched tonight. Not everybody skated this morning, but based on yesterday’s practice, here’s what the lineup should look like tonight:
Mikkel Boedker-Joe Thornton-Joe Pavelski
Joonas Donskoi-Logan Couture-Joel Ward
Patrick Marleau-Tomas Hertl-Melker Karlsson
Micheal Haley-Chris Tierney-Tommy Wingels
Marc-Edouard Vlasic-Justin Braun
Paul Martin-Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon-David Schlemko
Head coach Pete DeBoer said that, ideally, he’d be able to use the same lines all year, but still needs to find combinations that work.
“We’re five, six games in [to the season]. We need to get a four line game going again,” DeBoer said. “That’s our strength, and we haven’t had that in my mind enough recently. So, we’re going to keep juggling things until we get that.”
Ducks not much different under Carlyle, per DeBoer
The Anaheim Ducks made a significant change behind the bench this offseason, replacing Bruce Boudreau with Randy Carlyle, the coach Boudreau first replaced when he was hired by Anaheim in 2011. So far, Pete DeBoer has not noticed many significant changes between the team under Boudreau and the team under Carlyle.
“I watched some tape, we saw them in exhibition. You can see some subtle differences,” DeBoer said. “[They’re] still a very good team.”
Through six games, the usual suspects lead the Ducks in scoring. Ryan Getzlaf’s scored eight points, and Corey Perry’s posted five, and is tied for the team lead in goals. They have a new linemate in Nick Ritchie, but the pair are still the driving force for Anaheim, DeBoer said.
“It’s always a tough game when we’re playing them,” DeBoer said. “I’m actually excited. I’m glad we’re having this type of game coming off of the way we played last game. There’s no speeches [that] need to be made. You have to be emotionally invested here tonight in order to win, and I think we will be.”
We’ll know officially how Anaheim’s lineup will look during warm-ups tonight, but based on their last game, it should look something like this:
Nick Ritchie-Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano-Ryan Kesler-Jakob Silfverberg
Ryan Garbutt-Antoine Vermette-Chris Wagner
Joseph Cramarossa-Michael Sgarbossa-Jared Boll
Cam Fowler-Josh Manson
Clayton Stoner-Sami Vatanen
Shea Theodore-Kevin Bieksa
Matt Nieto’s childhood friend and fellow Long Beach native Emerson Etem is a likely scratch. Defenseman Simon Despres is on long-term injured reserve, and center Nate Thompson remains out after suffering a torn Achilles. Forward Rickard Rakell is yet to rejoin the team after signing a six-year extension, but his agent told the Orange County Register that he could be back with the Ducks this week. Defenseman Hampus Lindholm remains an unsigned restricted free agent, and has been the subject of trade rumors.
Quote of the Day
Pete DeBoer on Tomas Hertl moving back to center, and how long it could last:
Tomas is a versatile guy. He’s a very good player in this league now, I think. I had a quick conversation with him. He’s willing to do whatever he has to do to help us win. Joe and Joe are easy guys to play with. There’s a lineup of guys to slot in there that would love to play there. Again, I don’t have a timeframe. We’re going to try this tonight. It might last a period, it might last the next month. I don’t know.