SAN JOSE — Tomas Hertl returned to Joe Thornton’s wing on Tuesday. It’s not surprising, given how well Hertl played alongside Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski last season. It’s also a testament to Chris Tierney, according to head coach Pete DeBoer.
“I think [Tierney’s] earned and deserved to play up in the lineup through how he finished the year and played in the playoffs,” DeBoer said.
Tierney centered Joel Ward and Patrick Marleau at practice. But, the Sharks won’t mind if that isn’t where he ends up, DeBoer said.
“Having said that, if he ends up with some other guys down a line, I think we’re still a very effective team,” DeBoer said. “The whole idea is mismatches. But I think he’s earned the right to the type of situation he’s in to start.”
The Sharks are carrying 29 players after sending 22 down to the Barracuda over the last two days. Among them, Martin Jones and Aaron Dell are the only two remaining goaltenders practicing with the Sharks, and it would appear that Dell has all but locked up the backup goaltender spot. That’s not the case, according to DeBoer.
“I don’t think we’re at opening night roster decisions yet,” DeBoer said. “We’ve still got three games to play here. I think that’ll be a decision that we’ll take all the time that’s available for us to make.”
The same still applies to the remaining forwards, DeBoer said. Barclay Goodrow, Kevin Labanc, Micheal Haley, and Nikolay Goldobin all wore grey jerseys and rotated in on rushes as the Sharks’ fifth line of forwards at practice. It also applies to forwards who were sent down in the first wave of cuts, like Marcus Sorensen and Ryan Carpenter, according to DeBoer.
“We’re still juggling all of that out and trying to decide how many games we want to play the guys that just returned [from the World Cup].” DeBoer said. “[The players practicing with the Barracuda] could get another look. They’re certainly not down and out.”
The full set of combinations were as follows on Tuesday:
Tomas Hertl-Joe Thornton-Joe Pavelski
Mikkel Boedker-Logan Couture-Joonas Donskoi
Patrick Marleau-Chris Tierney-Joel Ward
Matt Nieto-Tommy Wingels-Melker Karlsson
Nikolay Goldobin-Micheal Haley-Kevin Labanc/Barclay Goodrow
Paul Martin-Brent Burns
Tim Heed-Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon-David Schlemko
Dylan DeMelo-Mirco Mueller
Quote of the Day
Friend of the blog Kevin Kurz asked Joe Thornton if he’s keeping the beard:
It’s a lifestyle, Kev! You know that.