A Captain’s practice without a Captain…a peculiar idea but a concept that hasn’t stopped the determination and drive possessed by the San Jose Sharks.
Just as it has the past few days, the Captain’s practice took place at Sharks Ice but this time minus the mythical aura that a captain actually called the neighborhood boys to sling the puck around.
Former captain Patrick Marleau appeared to be taking the recent news as a professional, but with that puppy dog look permanently attached to his face—it was hard to tell if he was sadden or ecstatic.
During the 5-on-5 scrimmage, Marleau skated alongside Joe Thornton, Brad Lukowich, offseason acquisition Scot Nichol, and Detroit Red Wing Brad Stuart in their away whites. Patrick passed the puck well during most of practice but missed a couple wide-open shots in the slot towards the end.
Thornton scored a powerful goal from the high slot mid-way through the scrimmage that got a huge reaction from several players on the ice. The goal even took Joe by surprise. After the puck rocketed past the inexperience goalie, he could be seen mouthing the word “wow” with a huge smile on his face.
Dan Boyle, Devin Setoguchi, Jody Shelly, and the Wild’s Owen Nolan anchored the dark jersey team and were able to produce exciting action in their end as well. On one particular play, Boyle fought through some traffic and found a wide-open Setoguchi for a one timer that was buried into the back of the net. The play was preformed so nicely that it caused the crowd to erupt in cheers.
While the looming captaincy question definitely filled the minds of the 30-plus fans attending Wednesday's practice, they would leave with no immediate clues or answers.
This didn't keep the faithful from speculating however.
“I think it is going to be Dan Boyle,” one fan confessed to me toward the end of practice, “He has all the qualities needed to be a true leader for the Sharks.”
An interesting selection every time I hear it but one that seems to be growing on me and several other Teal Faithful.