If you were on twitter and following anyone related to the Ducks at about 10am yesterday you were no doubt inundated by pictures and vines of Hilary Knight practicing with the Ducks at Anaheim Ice and quotes afterward. I could link to any number of articles like this one from Eric Stephens or this one from Puck Daddy or this one from Adam Brady or the photo gallery that the Ducks put together, but the looks on the faces of the girls in this picture tell the whole story:
Seriously, how great is that? Once again, I just have to say how proud I am of the Ducks for this whole thing. Tonight Knight will meet and greet with Ducks fans and do a ceremonial puck drop before the game, but even more importantly next Sunday, they'll hold a Girls Try Hockey for Free event at Anaheim Ice. Now on to a few details about the final preseason game of the year.
Ducks: 2-3-1 (Wins over Colorado, Losses to Arizona, LA and San Jose and OTL to San Jose)
Sharks: 3-1-1 (Wins over Vancouver, Anaheim and Arizona, Loss to LA and OTL to Arizona)
Ducks: 4-2 Loss to LA last Sunday
Sharks: 3-1 Win over Arizona yesterday
Ducks: The roster is almost down to opening day size. In fact not including injuries the Ducks are currently carrying 23 players (13 forwards, 7 D, 3 goalies). The aforementioned injuries will keep Cam Fowler (lower body), Dany Heatley (groin), Kyle Palmieri (ankle) out of this game but they all should be back before the first road trip of the season is over in Philadelphia on Oct 14, if not for the opener in Pittsburgh Oct 9.
The other injuries I excluded from that list of 23 were Sheldon Souray (obviously, he doesn't even have a jersey number listed), Shea Theodore (still out for 2-4 more weeks but will be sent back to Norfolk when he's ready) and Josh Manson (upper body), who hasn't played since the first five minutes of the preseason opener and I honestly can't find any update of any kind on him.
So, with the exception of possibly one more comparison between Rickard Rakell and WIlliam Karlsson, the Ducks will be playing their opening night roster against the Sharks.
Sharks: Here's the current San Jose roster. I'm not sure about injuries as I am with the Ducks roster, but the Sharks are listing 30 players on their roster, so they theoretically have more room for squad rotation.
Normally overreaction on twitter about morning skate line rushes before a preseason game wouldn't be worth discussing. However, after the summer San Jose has had and considering it was Joe Thornton on the fourth line between Mike Brown and Andrew Desjardins it was fun to imagine that Todd McLellan and Doug Wilson were still trying to force their best player out of town rather than just resting him for the game that night against Arizona. Here's a sample of said fun:
Joe Thornton's linemates at the start of the season are going to be a ghost and a wish.— Megalodon (@MegalodonBOC) October 3, 2014
A dog and a cat. #NewThorntonLinemates— Megalodon (@MegalodonBOC) October 3, 2014
Jeremy Roenick and a drawing of Wayne Gretzky. #NewThorntonLinemates— Megalodon (@MegalodonBOC) October 3, 2014
Anaheim has about $9MM in cap space. The Ducks should just make some terrible offer for Joe Thornton and convince him to waive.— Travis Yost (@TravisHeHateMe) October 3, 2014
Thornton doesn't really have to move his family if he doesn't want to and Anaheim can run Getzlaf-Thornton-Kesler.— Travis Yost (@TravisHeHateMe) October 3, 2014
Stay tuned for updates as the day goes on, but in the mean time feel free to comment away.,,