The Silver Bullet

An opinion in popular sports

San Jose Sharks Preview: Defense and Goal

Well, enough time has passed for me to scratch out some more thoughts on the Teal and Black. Now, we turn to the Defense and Goalie positions.

Defenseman:

Christian Ehrhoff: Initial indications show that our friend from West Germany will be paired with offensive-minded newcomer Dan Boyle. This man led the team with 108 blocked shots last year, and had 21 helpers along the way. Christian battled through an injury in the playoffs, but still had 5 assists in 10 games. The partnership with Boyle should be beneficial. Expect about the same from Ehrhoff, though, maybe 25 assists, but Boyle and Blake will go the scoring from the blue line.

Kyle McLaren: Oh the trade buzz. That hardest part for Kyle will be cracking the top four. Our big bounding d-man has a lot to compete for against the newcomers. McClellan’s offensive blue line approach might reduce McLaren’s role. Kyle should work on his slap shot and put up some points before this preseason ends. He is coming of knee surgery, so we’ll wait to see…

Douglas Murray: I hate to say it, but Murray may suffer a similar fate. The hardest part about the new coaching staff’s approach will be the need for big physical defenseman that helped lead the sharks to fewer goals against than most teams. He did just get a four year extension so look for him to play early in the season and fade if he doesn’t mesh with the new system.

Mark Edouard Vlasic: Pickles is a young skilled defenseman, and he was originally slated at the top of the depth chart. McClellan indicated he might be paired with veteran newcomer Rob Blake. He also signed a four year extension wo the higherups are looking for him to perform. The kid had just 14 points in all 82 games last year and finished a dismal -12. Being paired with Blake will help Vlasic, who will be dishing point shots to Rob a lot. If he doesn’t perform quickly, though I could see a plummet in his value to both the top line and the team.

Rob Blake: I hated this man for so many playoff seasons, it’s hard for me to write anything constructive about him. Just like so many other former foes, I’m sure I’ll get used to it.  Blake is coming off his second season of lower offensive numbers. The Colorado days have ended, and Rob scored just 31 points with LA last year. I’m sure the national analysts will point to Blake as being a savior of some kind, though I think he’s WAY past his prime.

Dan Boyle: A great acquisition for the Sharks in the off-season. You can’t help but like everything you’re see from Tampa. Well, You don’t necessarily want to see a wrist injury that dampers a lot of your season, but his offensive-mind should work well in San Jose. The coaching staff is talking about that offensive blue line and this is the poster boy. He has scored in the preseason already, but it will be interesting and fun to watch this guy as the year goes on.

Brad Lukowich: While a good friend of Boyle’s,  I doubt Lukowich gets too much attention early on. He only tallied 7 points in 59 games last year. He’ll be a nice leader for the younger guys, though.

 

GOALIES:

Evgeni Nabakov: There really is nothing to trip about when it comes to Nabby. He led the league in Wins last year (46) and was the best goalie in hockey. He was snubbed for the Vezina trophy, but will make another attempt at it this season. Predictions show he may be the best fantasy goalie this next season.  Expect at least 40 wins, assuming this team comes together, and another Trophy finalist for Nabby.

Brian Boucher: Our steadfast backup is fine, but that’s it. Just fine.

The Sharks will open up the season eight days from now against Anaheim, and then the roller coaster begins again, for another 82 games.

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October 1, 2008 - Posted by | danharris, Hockey, NHL, San Jose Sharks, Sharks, Sports, thesilverbullet

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