Although the San Jose Sharks’ first preseason game against the Anaheim Ducks last night didn’t end the way we might have liked, there was a lot to learn from the first children’s scrimmage. Jonny Brodzinski looked great on a line with Joe Thornton (an important caveat), Ryan Merkley dazzled with some dangles and two primary assists, Joachim Blichfeld showed off a wrist shot that travels through time, everybody fell down a lot, and the Sharks’ brutal goaltending struggles seem to finally be coming to a middle.
Some new faces will grace the lineup tonight as the boys visit the Calgary Flames. Of the announced roster for San Jose tonight, only Tim Heed and Aaron Dell are recognizable from last night’s contest, and they may not even see the ice (not literally, of course). With six other defensemen dressed, it’s unlikely Heed sees serious minutes, and The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz has reported that Antoine Bibeau is set to man the Sharks’ net for the full 60.
Enjoy this preseason hockey while you can, it’s refreshing to watch games that don’t matter and relax a bit before the true hand-wringing madness of hockey season ravenously descends upon our fragile psyches in all its terrible glory.
While any number of these kids could be on the Sharks roster in October, considering the club’s lack of depth on the wing, keep an eye on Dylan Gambrell, Lukas Radil, Sasha Chmelevski, and Ivan Chekhovich up front, and Dalton Prout and Mario Ferraro on the back end as front runners. Yes, I am aware that that may require up to six eyes, I suggest you borrow a few.
#Flames lineup at morning skate ...— Wes Gilbertson (@WesGilbertson) September 18, 2019
The Flames may be succumbing to Ancient Wisdom with this line up, and the Sharks guppies should be careful with Milan Lucic and Zac Rinaldo, both real hockey players who are allegedly very much alive, running around. For a full rundown on the Flames’ off-season changes, check out our Pacific Peek from this morning.
Where to watch
The festivities are set to begin at 6 p.m. Pacific/9 p.m. Eastern at the Saddledome in scenic Alberta. NBCSports California subscribers will be able to stream the game through the Sharks’ website or through the NBCS Authentic My Teams app. Those of you who panicked earlier about the number of eyes you’ll need can rest easy and just stream the audio through the Sharks + SAP Center app.