For fans who watched the Sharks testy affair with Anaheim Friday night, they should know that Saturday’s battle with Vancouver was even testier.
A total of 135 penalty minutes were handed out, primarily because Nathan McIver began taking liberties with Sharks Captain Patrick Marleau
. Needless to say, the Sharks weren’t too pleased with the Canucks and responded appropriately.
“We’re not happy with what happened with Patty,” said Craig Rivet, who along with Ryane Clowe
stepped up immediately for their leader.
Marleau, Rivet and Clowe were all involved in separate altercations and all three took their opponents to the ice.
Still, many were impressed that Marleau went toe-to-toe with one of Vancouver’s better fighters.
“Patty never ceases to amaze me,” said Jeremy Roenick. “This team can play any style. If you want to hit, we can do that. If you want to skate, we can do that.”
“Patty handled himself well, but it not his role,” said Clowe. “We have to show other teams you can’t do that. We have the size and strength, so we used it.”
Marleau appreciated his teammates sticking up for him and the crest.
“I think it’s a team thing,” said Marleau. “Everyone was sticking up for everyone. You don’t like seeing teammates kicked out (Clowe and Rivet were both given game misconducts), but sometimes you’ve got to do it.”
It may just be the preseason, but Jeremy Roenick enjoyed his first tally before Sharks fans.
“It’s awesome,” said Roenick.
“Jeremy Roenick had a nice goal with a great shot,” said Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson. “He’s excited to play, so that’s a real positive. You can hardly find anything bad to say about any players that we have right now.”
Roenick set up to the right of Roberto Luongo and slapped home the tally from a spot he has been a time or two over the years.
“A couple hundred times,” chuckled Roenick.
Roenick says he still has a bit to go before being in his best form.
“I don’t feel very confident yet, but it’s going to get better,” said Roenick. “It will take a good month before I feel comfortable.”
Tomas Plihal was hauled down on a breakaway and was deservedly awarded a penalty shot. However, the preseason tally didn’t come thank to the efforts of Luongo.
“I tried to go high glove side,” said Plihal. “He was huge and closed on it right away.”
Plihal did have a previous penalty shot in the AHL.
“I did the same thing and didn’t score,” said Plihal.
San Jose outshot Vancouver 37-10, dominating the category just as they had the previous night against Anaheim. That made for an easy night for Dimitri Patzold. Wilson hopes that is a pattern all season.
“We have given up many chances the last three games,” said Wilson. “It probably is (harder for the goaltender), but I hope they have to get used to it.”
CUTS TO COME
The Sharks have some difficult decisions in the next few days as they begin pairing their roster down to 23 for opening night.
“We’re pretty deep, we could almost have two very competitive teams in this league right now, which is a great position to be in,” said Wilson. “We still have three games to make our mind up. We will just have to wait and see how everybody plays. All I can say right now is when the regular season starts, we will have what we feel is the best team on the ice. We’ll talk to some people tonight. We’ll get down to six lines and eight or nine defensemen. There are some tough choices.”
Devin Setoguchi potted the game-winner and is now tied with Joe Pavelski
for the Sharks preseason points lead with five. Setoguchi has scored all three tallies on the power play.
Jonathan Cheechoo scored his first of the preseason.
CANUCKS ASSISTANT COACH, RICK BOWNESS
“To me, one thing that stands out is that Luongo’s ready and obviously we didn’t play real well in front of him. It gave him a lot of action and he showed that he is ready for the upcoming season.”
“Second thing that’s evident is that some guys are showing that they probably don’t belong here at this time of their development and they are not ready to make the next step.”
“I think five of the penalties that we took tonight were in the offensive zone and if you take penalties in the offensive zone it’s because you’re not skating enough.”
The Sharks will travel to Canada next week for contests with Calgary on Tuesday and Vancouver on Wednesday. Both games will be available on sjsharks.com and the Vancouver contest can also be heard on 98.5 KFOX.