SAN JOSE—The preseason is here! On Tuesday, September 19, the San Jose Sharks took on and conquered the Anaheim Ducks (one of two cross-state rivals) 5-0 in the opener, up from their 7-1 loss to Anaheim during last week’s Prospect Showcase.
San Jose stopped all four of Anaheim’s power plays, closing the match with a perfect penalty kill. They exceeded Anaheim in takeaways by nine (San Jose had 11, Anaheim 2).
Twelve different players posted points, among them forwards Danny O’Regan (one goal and one assist), Barclay Goodrow (two assists), Filip Sandberg (one goal, the first of the game), defenseman Tim Heed (two assists). Following Sandberg and O’Regan, in the second period, forwards Mikkel Boedker, Kevin Labanc, and Brandon Bollig scored the remaining three goals within four minutes of one another. Goaltender Aaron Dell blocked all 24 shots and had a shutout win.
Heed and fellow defenseman Joakim Ryan stood out on the Barracuda last season as Heed exceeded all AHL defensemen in points per game and Ryan exceeded Barracuda defensemen in goals, assists, points, and shots on goal (all of which were peaks in his career). Their blue lining skills translated into the preseason opener as Heed exceeded the team in time on ice with 22:04 and Ryan tied for a game-peaking plus-3 rating. Both players could be on their way to becoming solid two-way defensemen.
“Those guys know what they’re doing,” said Dell of the team’s defensemen after Tuesday night’s game. “When I know what they’re going to do, it helps me out, and when I do what they know I’m going to do, it helps them out, too.”
Heed also assisted Sandberg in the first goal of the game, before and during which the right winger showcased his speed (an element which Sandberg previously told San Francisco News that he is striving to improve). He scored with nine seconds left in the first period.
“Defensively we were good, offensively we found a way to score some goals,” said Sharks Head Coach Peter DeBoer to reporters after the match. “I thought the guys worked at what we’ve been talking about.”