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Players fight for jobs in 6-2 win over Canucks
Lilja shows he's serious about staying
9/26/10 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks wrapped up their North American pre-season on Wednesday night with a big 6-2 win on HP Pavilion ice. The Sharks converted four power play goals in the white washing, which was an about face from the 3-1 loss to the same Canucks just 24-hours earlier in British Columbia.

San Jose will now embark on a two week trek to Europe to finish up the pre-season, before kicking off the regular season with two games against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Sweden. The sharks are scheduled to leave from San Jose Airport on Thursday at 3:00pm.

After the home and home series with the Canucks, the Sharks are left to decide on the fates of four more players. The league has allowed both the Sharks and Blue Jackets to bring extra players to Stokholm in the event either team suffers any injuries during the two-game series.

Obviously getting players flown from a development affiliate is unreasonable, so having extra bodies present allows the Sharks to delay their decisions on the final 23 roster spots.

Whose stock went up on Wednesday night:

- Andreas Lilja – The defenseman had a goal and an assist in just under 20 minutes of ice time. He’d have to have a catastrophic performance in Mannheim to not earn a contract before the start of the regular season. He’s been steady Eddie even though his invitation to camp came late in the game.

- John McCarthy – The left winger has made it tough to ignore his game. His goal on Wednesday night was the result of strong hockey sense. He sniffed it out by going to the net, cleaning up on a chance that would have gone by the wayside.

- Antero Nittmaki – After giving up a softie to start the game, the Finish netminder turned in a solid performance.

- Mike Moore – An honorable mention to the prospect for pumping a little energy into the building after Raffi Torres put the Canucks up in the 1st period. Moore dropped the gloves with Guillaume Desbiens, sparking his teammates and the HP Pavilion crowd.

Whose stock went down:

- Frazer McLaren – His role this season is crystal clear. Take care of the rough stuff and protect the star players on the roster and don’t become a defensive liability. Not sure McLaren did either on Wednesday night. Joe Pavelski can take care of himself, but he shouldn’t have to. McLaren should have dealt with the Christian Ehrhoff situation in the 2nd period.

- Ryane Clowe – The veteran doesn’t have anything to worry about in terms of securing a roster spot, but his disappearing act on Wednesday night was reminiscent of the first 30 games of the regular season last year. He needs to pick things up where he left off last spring.

Just wondering:

- What’s the point of Christian Ehrhoff dropping the gloves with anyone? Does he think that’s go to serve as a deterrent for anything or anyone?

- Are the Sharks trying to toughen up their image with those Bad Boys Bail Bond ads behind their bench?

- Does it matter who plays with Dany Heatley. He’s scored in three straight games, and seems to be sniffing out the net right now.

- Did Jamal Mayers hurt himself bad enough on Tuesday night to free up a roster spot at the start of the season. Mayers speared himself, when his stick became wedged in the boards, then jabbed him in the chest as he skated past it.

Wednesday Moves:

- The Sharks assigned defenseman Nick Petrecki and right wing Cam MacIntyre to Worcester on Wednesday. The roster now consists of 27 players, which includes goaltenders Nittymaki, Antti Niemi, and Thomas Greiss.

- Darren Dreger reported that the Sharks have fielded several inquiries on the availability of their goaltenders. Greiss is the most likely to be moved, which would only require the team to figure out how to reduce the roster by three players.


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