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Sharks host annual Teal & White Game
Fans welcome new, old and returning players
9/23/08 - By Mike Lee

Shark season ticket holders enjoyed the team's annual Teal & White Game at HP Pavilion on Tuesday night, before one of the better turnouts in event history. Part scrimmage, part reward for the fans willing to shell out the big bucks for an annual commitment, the event gives the players a chance to shake out the cobwebs in a real arena, and it provides fans with a chance to get a taste of what's to come this season.

The training camp roster that is comprised of over 60 players is split into two squads that square off against each other for some live skating, shooting and hitting. There were of course some notable omissions from the ice. Kyle McLaren continues his training camp limbo, while the Sharks brass figures out what to do with him.

Hockey returned to HP
Pavilion on Tuesday night. (Photo: M. Lee)
Jeremy Roenick was also another notable player not suited up for the affair. His knee is reported to be giving him trouble already in camp, so the Sharks decided that the extra strain wasn't worth the limited benefit of having him on the ice.

What the fans did get to see was a taste of some of the off-season acquisitions which will make the Sharks a better team.

Dan Boyle skated on San Jose ice for the first time as a Shark, and impressed with his offensive minded game. The guy has a nasty shot from the point, and he pinched on numerous occasions from the blueline.

Rob Blake also made his Sharks debut, and it's easy to see why this guy's has been a perennial Norris trophy candidate. Size, speed and sure hands give the Sharks a real presence on the blueline, that opposing forwards will think twice about when they cross through the neutral zone this season.

Fans were eager to great their
favorite players (Photo: M. Lee)
Then there was the "old man", Jeff Friesen, back home to give it one more try. All but washed up, the Sharks 1994 1st round draft pick is back in San Jose to try and revive a once promising career. Friesen lacked the zip in his step on Tuesday night, but he played with the confidence of a veteran. If Friesen cracks the Sharks roster, look for him to log 4th line minutes on a checking line.

Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau seemed comfortable on the ice, which hopefully translates to bigger and better things for San Jose this season.

As for the returning regulars, everyone seems to be feeling their way around the ice, readying themselves for the seven month trek that hopefully lands them a playoff birth, to be followed by another 3 months of playoff hockey.

The game itself was nothing to get excited about. The only real hitting came courtesy of Frazer McLaren and Brad Staubitz. The two mixed it up in front of the net during the 2nd of two 30 minute halves, then continued their personal battle with some chippy play.

Post shots were the order of the evening. Three pucks rang off metal throughout the evening, including a Derek Joselin shot that should have found its way past Tomas Greiss in the 2nd half.

Both Evgeni Nabokov and Brian Boucher pitched shutouts for their respective squads in the first 30 minutes of play.

Milan Michalek finally got a puck past Greiss at 18:24 of the 2nd half for Team White. Jonathan Cheechoo threw a puck on net from the left point that Greiss stopped, but Michalek scooped up the rebound on eh doorstep and slipped it into the goal after sliding a step to his left.

Joe Pavelski would add to Team White's lead with just under two minutes to play to cap Team White's victory.

The Sharks then staged a 10 player shoot-out, that made it painfully clear that the Sharks did little to improve their shootout skills over the off-season.

The "hold-your-breath" play of the game came courtesy of White Team players Mike Grier and Tomas Plihal. Both failed to see each other as they circled back on a play in their own defensive zone. The result was a collision that sent Plihal sprawling to the ice. Given Torrey Mithcell's injury on Sunday, the Sharks can ill afford another training camp injury.



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