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Roenick Out For Opener, Setoguchi To Worcester

by Alex Aragon / San Jose Sharks
After getting the day off on Thursday to rest following the four-game road trip to open the season, the Sharks returned to the ice Friday for a last minute tune-up before their home opener Saturday night against the Boston Bruins. Noticeably absent from Friday’s practice were forwards Jeremy Roenick and Devin Setoguchi.

“J.R. tweaked his knee and he’ll probably miss a couple of days,” Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson said following the team’s practice. “I’m expecting him to miss tomorrow night’s game.”

Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson also announced today that the club assigned right wing Devin Setoguchi to Worcester. After a stellar exhibition season, Setoguchi, 20, began the regular season on the Sharks Injured Reserve list with an ankle injury and has not appeared in any regular season games.

With Roenick and Setoguchi out for Saturday night’s game, Patrick Rissmiller and Curtis Brown will both be in the lineup and possibly skating on the same line. Marcel Goc centered Rissmiller and Brown at practice in an unusual line combination featuring all left-handed shots. Mike Grier and Joe Pavelski skated on a line with Torrey Mitchell in a line combination that featured all right-handed shots.

Sharks center Torrey Mitchell, right, celebrates with teammates Matt Carle (18) and Devin Setoguchi, left, after Segotuchi's goal against the Vancouver Canucks on Sept. 22, 2007.(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Sharks fans will finally get their chance to see rookie center Torrey Mitchell take the ice for Team Teal on Saturday. After practice Friday, Mitchell was admittedly excited to play in his first game at home.

“Even in the preseason, the fans were loud,” said Mitchell, referring to the HP Pavilion crowd. “The guys were telling me it gets loud in there and it gets rowdy. Being from Montreal, I had no idea that the fans here are so great. That’s obviously a plus and it’s pretty exciting to play in front of fans like that.”

Mitchell, 22, has been impressive in his first four games with the Sharks, logging big minutes in key situations for Ron Wilson’s club. He ranks fifth in time on ice among Sharks forwards, trailing only Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Jonathan Cheechoo and Joe Pavelski. Mitchell has also demonstrated his versatility, playing everywhere from right wing on Thornton’s line, to center on the fourth line. How does Mitchell rate his own performance to this point?

“I don’t know how I would rate it, but it’s been going pretty well so far,” said Mitchell. “I learned a lot in the preseason and in training camp, and then again the first couple of games. I guess I’m still adjusting a little bit. Every day I’m just trying to work hard. That’s kind of the bottom line for me.”

Mitchell’s hard work to this point is further reflected in his numbers, posting an even plus-minus rating, staying out of the penalty box and winning 51 per cent of his faceoffs, all of which are facets of the game that rookies have been known to struggle with.

“Trying to concentrate on all the little details and hopefully staying consistent; those are the most important things for me right now and hopefully everything else will fall into place,” said Mitchell. “The first four games have gone well, but there’s no room to get comfortable. You have to keep going. We weren’t really happy with our first three games to be completely honest. We know we are capable of playing much better.”

Ron Wilson echoed the rookie’s comments.

“We just want to play with the same intensity that we did last year on the road. I can’t say we did that consistently on this trip. In two of the games in Vancouver and Chicago, we certainly did. The second period in Colorado we played that way, and there were parts in Edmonton that we played.

“The preseason probably went too easy for us, so it was good to be challenged a little bit on the road. [The game in Chicago,] that’s our ideal road game. Hopefully we can take parts of that and play the same way tomorrow night: grind a team down at the end of a long road trip.”

The San Jose Sharks and 98.5 KFOX are teaming up once again to bring listeners the “Kihn and The Coach Show” with top rated morning personality Greg Kihn and Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson. The show airs Tuesday mornings at 6:50 AM.

Tune in to Tim Jefferys afternoon drive show for a feature called, “What’s on Tap,” with Sharks radio play-by-play broadcaster Dan Rusanowsky. “What’s on Tap” will air on game days that fall between Monday-Friday at 4:20 PM. If the Sharks have a game scheduled at that time, the segment will typically run an hour earlier at 3:20 PM. Both shows will air on the Sharks Radio Network flagship station, 98.5 KFOX.

Sharks President and CEO Greg Jamison will be on the “Gary Allen on Business” show on KNBR 680 AM tomorrow morning from 9-10 AM.

The Sharks host the Boston Bruins on Saturday night at HP Pavilion at San Jose in the team’s home opener. Game time is set for 7:30 PM and will be broadcast on FSN Bay Area in high-definition, KFOX 98.5 FM, Sharks Radio Network Affiliates and
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