Backup netminders don’t always get to see a lot of game action. Three games in, Dimitri Patzold saw brief action at the end of the Sharks 6-2 loss to the Avalanche on Sunday.
However, when it comes to practice, the backup netminder is always the second goaltender off the ice and stays out noticeably longer on game days.
Thus, they may not have the most in-depth knowledge of potential opponents, but they have a pretty good feel for their own teammates.
Patzold recently provided answers about who possessed what talents on the Sharks from a shooting perspective.
Best wrist shot?
“Maybe Milan (Michalek),” said Patzold. “His is hard and fast.”
Best slap shot?
“That is a hard question,” he said. “It’s got to be a defenseman for sure. In practice, the D never shoot too hard because they don’t want to hurt anybody. Maybe Christian (Ehrhoff).”
Best breakaway moves?
and Steve Bernier are pretty good,” Patzold said. “And definitely Joe (Thornton).”
“Patty (Marleau), Milan and Joe,” he said.
“The best backhand is ‘Doctor’ (Curtis) Brown’s. He uses it a lot.”
The real question for a netminder is how much can they feel when a professional hockey player uncorks a blast nearing 100 miles per hour?
“It depends where it hits you, but you can feel it.”
Patzold is enjoying his time facing NHLers, but says the differences between the NHL and AHL shooters is not as great as one might think.
“It’s different getting used to it up here. They know before they take a couple of steps and shoot what their moves will be. They don’t have to think. It’s not the shot. It’s the speed and the exact passes on the stick.”
Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson noted early in the season that the opening night lines may not be what fans see for the long haul. It looks as if the Sharks will have new combinations, but familiar ones to Sharks fans, for Wednesday.
Clowe will rejoin Thornton and Jonathan Cheechoo. Marleau will return to his customary center slot with recurring wingers Michalek and Bernier. Joe Pavelski
will center Mike Grier and Torrey Mitchell
and Brown seems set to work with Marcel Goc and Jeremy Roenick.
Defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh continues working out with the Sharks as a tryout player. Due to various factors, a deal may not be feasible by October 10 as previously noted. However, that does not mean something cannot happen at a later time.
The Sharks left one hour early for Tuesday’s practice and held a closed door meeting with the extra time.
The Sharks finish their four-game trip with a 5:30 p.m. PST contest in Chicago on Wednesday. The contest will be available on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.