| Big boys hit the
Regulars make their debuts in DeBoer's first
The big boys stepped out onto the ice this morning
as regular rostered players practiced for the first time this season at Sharks
Ice in San Jose. The likes of Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture all
ran through drills for the first time under new head coach Peter DeBoer, in 60
minute practices. The 50 some odd players were split into two groups, which
Group A hitting the ice at 9:30 Friday morning. Group B ran through identical
drills at 11:45.
Nestled on the 10th street in downtown San Jose,
Sharks Ice came to life with players running through a number of conditioning
and positioning drills as DeBoer and his staff led the charge.
of about 50 fans watched the practices from the frigid stands, which is a
contrast of prior training camps which have been standing room only affairs.
The fact that camp started on a Friday may have had something to do with
attendance, so Saturday and Sunday's practices should be a better barometer of
fan interest in the Sharks 25th campaign.
DeBoer set offensive lines
and defensive pairings for the practices, which pegged the following alignments
for the morning session:
Line 1 (white sweaters) - Hertl, Thornton,
Line 2 (teal sweaters) - Nieto, Tierney ¸Wingels
Line 3 (yellow sweaters) - Sadowy, Brown, McCarthy
Line 4 (orange
sweaters) - Donskoi, Carpenter, Meier
Defensive Pairings: Burns/Martin,
Cundari/Ryan, Mueller/Tennyson, Roy/McNally
Goaltenders - Jones,
Group B alignments in the second practice were as follows:
Line 1 (white sweaters) - Couture, Marleau, Ward
Line 2 (teal
sweaters) - Torres, Smith, Goldobin
Line 3 (yellow sweaters) - McLaren,
Haley, Helewka, Emanuelsson
Line 4 (orange sweaters) - Chartier,
Defensive Pairings: Vlasic/Braun, Dillon/DeMelo,
Goaltenders - Stalock, Grosenick
DeBoer's first practice emphasized positioning, with several drills that called
for players to stop in their tracks as on-ice coaches repositioned players. The
Sharks also spent a deal of time focusing on odd-man rushes, both on the
offensive and defensive side of the puck.
Tomas Hertl had some skate
issues, which resulted in him tripping all over the ice during scrimmage
drills, forcing him to get some attention from the equipment staff. Hertl had
better step things up if he wants to remain on what amounts to the Sharks top
line. THe winger wasn't exactly lights out in his first crack at the
opportunity. His sophomore season was a big disappointment from his injury
shortened debut in 2013-14.
Logan Couture unleashed a series of wicked wrist shots
which seem head and shoulders better then anyone else on the ice. The Sharks
forward arrived in great shape and looks primed for a big season. He was one of
the most vocal players following the Sharks dismal performance last season.
The Martin Jones era got off the a decent start with the Sharks
netminder anchoring the net in the early session. The goaltender is a taller,
more slender backstop than what the Sharks were used to in his predecessor
Antti Niemi. Jones looked solid in his first look in the crease, and had plenty
of fun with his new teammates who jeered him every time a puck found its way
Raffi Torres made his return to the ice in the Group B
session, and looked good. He took a fair amount of time to get loose after
stepping on the ice, skating gingerly around the full length of the rink while
his teammates kept a brisker pace in their half-rink warm-up laps. Torres is
returning from a knee injury that cost him a big chunk on the 2013-14 season
and all of last year's campaign.
The forward seem to skate with some
hesitation throughout the practice, never really ramping up to 100%.
New acquisition Paul Martin skated along side Brent Burns in the early session,
and looked solid in his first practice as a Shark blueliner. Joel Ward skated
on a line with Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture. It will likely take some time
for Ward to establish some chemistry with his new linemates, who are both
arguably better skater than the new Sharks winger.
Goldobin helped his cause with an impressive first practice. The young Russian
was eager to go to the net, sticking his nose in unpleasant places to get the
puck on net when called on. Timo Meier on the other hand had a completey
different experience. The Sharks 1st round pick this past June looked lost out
on the ice, and struggled to establish any flow to his game.
North Rink, Barracudas head coach Roy Sommer held a smaller work out for
several of the Sharks prospects that are likely to start the season with San
Jose's minor league affilate. Sommer was assisted by for Sharks players and now
development advisors Mike Ricci and Evgeni Nabokov.
did not skate.
For those planning on attending a training camp session
this weekend, it's advised that you arrive well before the scheduled start, as
weekend practices tend to fill up and seating is limited.
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