The Silver Bullet

An opinion in popular sports

San Jose Sharks Preview: Forwards

Training Camp Opens this weekend and that means it’s time to look at the San Jose Sharks and their individual reports from the Silver Bullet.

The 2009 San Jose Sharks are puzzle pieces, or so says the team’s marketing department. Apparently, Seeing how those pieces fit together is why we should buy tickets this season. Truthfully, I have my own cynicism about Team Teal this year and how well these pieces fit together…
But we’ll get to that throughout the season. We may as well get to it with the guys up front…

FORWARDS:

Jonathan Cheechoo: The Cheechoo train was a bit derailed last year, just 23 red lights. Our Richard winner of three seasons ago hasn’t had the space he had back in 2006. He won’t start the season with his setup man Joe Thornton, but I have a feeling the two will be reunited plenty this season. Cheech will break 35 this year.

Ryane Clowe: Clowe showed a lot during the first few games of the playoffs last year, but that’s about all we saw, Clowe got into just 15 contests during the regular season after sustaining a knee injury.. Some speculate that Clowe can’t stay healthy with his rough and tumble style. I tend to agree. Great heart and physicality, but great potential for missing time.

Marcel Goc: It’s tough to say what the German Connection will do this year, The center racked up just 5 goals in 51 games last season. He spent most of his time on RW’s checking lines. It’ll be tough for Marcel to crack the top six, so we may see a similar result this season.
Mike Grier: Gotta love heart. I was skeptical of Grier when he came to the Sharks. And while he hasn’t been a complete offensive boost, he has shown grit and determination in his two campaigns in San Jose. Offseason Knee Surgery may prove problematic for the physical forward. Hopefully, he’s healthy by the opener.

Patrick Marleau: El Capitan. I have mixed feelings when it comes to  Patty as well. Either McClellan is going to inspire him and bring him back to the scoring side of things. He had just 19 goals last year, his lowest total since 1999. The Sharks new coach has already shown tremendous confidence in the captain, pairing him on the top line with Clowe and Joe Thornton. We’ll see if he can right the ship or ship out at the deadline.


Milan Michalek: A pretty consistent year last year and I think we can expect more of the same. Michalek spent some time on the top line last year, and I think we’ll see some of that this year, maybe not at first though. I would look for a 25/30 type year for the winger.

Torrey Mitchell: The Young Kid with the visor scored just 20 points last season (10/10), but i think it’s just the beginning. Mitchell will start the season on the lower lines, but is a good young asset to the team. We’ll see if he gets the minutes to score 15.

Tomas Plihal: Unfortunately, I see little hope for Thomas up in the NHL right now.  Plihal got 22 games of regular season action last year, and just 3 games in the postseason. If he stays with the Sharks, he’ll be rotating as a healthy scratch.

Jeremy Roenick: How can you not love JR sticking with it. Admittedly, I didn’t like JR when he was non-teal… BUT, his performace in Game 7 of the Calgary series earned a roster spot in my mind. He’ll stay in the lower line combos, but you can’t argue with his inspirational personality and guidance to the younger players on the squad. That alone is worth the half million.

Devin Setoguchi: We saw some flashes from the showman last season, but he eventually faded throughout the season. Devin put in 11 goals in about half the season last year (44 games). Production from this winger will be minimal if he’s restricted to the fourth line, and we’ll see if it takes some time to recover from off season surgery.

Jody Shelley: The Bruiser. Truthfully, I was surprised when Doug Wilson brought back Shelley. The enforcer acquired from Columbus in late January shows a lot of character and toughness, but can be a goon at times and a liability others. I have a feeling McClellan may not warm up to Shelley who may find himself scratched a lot this season.

Joe Thornton: Well, Joe had another good year last year with 96 points. No doubt he’ll continue to be the quarterback. It remains to be seen if there’s any friction between him and Patty Marleau. Thornton appears to be the leader of this squad, but who knows what goes on behind closed doors. The top line should flourish and if Patty and Ryan can deliver the scoring, I predict another big season for the Sharks Alternate Captain.

Jeff Friesen: Wouldn’t it be nice to the see the return of the Freeze this year?Jeff missed all of last season, not making a roster. We’ll see if he cracks the roster and returns home to San Jose to round out his career.

Well get to the Defense and Goalies in the coming days. Stick with the Bullet!

-Dan

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September 20, 2008 - Posted by | danharris, Hockey, NHL, San Jose Sharks, Sharks, Sports, thesilverbullet

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