NHL Preview: San Jose Sharks vs. Colorado Avalanche Print
Sunday, 07 October 2007 02:44
NHL Headline News

Shark Bait

Jeremy Roenick nearly retired during the offseason, but the San Jose Sharks are surely glad he didn't.

The veteran center looks to build off a big offensive game when his Sharks visit the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.

Roenick considered calling it quits after managing just 22 points in 2005-06 for Los Angeles and 28 last season for Phoenix - the lowest totals of his career since playing just 20 games for Chicago in his 1988-89 rookie season. However, he changed his mind after getting a call from Sharks general manager Doug Wilson, his roommate with Chicago in 1988.

"I was retired, are you kidding?" Roenick said. "I had my golf clubs in hand and was ready to hang them up, but thank goodness a call from Doug Wilson kept me around."

Roenick showed he has plenty left in him on Friday, scoring twice in San Jose's 3-1 win in Vancouver. The goals were the 496th and 497th of his career, moving closer to becoming just the third American-born player with 500.

Roenick is five goals shy of matching Joe Mullen for second place on the list and 10 behind leader Mike Modano of the Dallas Stars. He also is third among U.S.-born players with 1,172 points, trailing only Modano (1,227) and Phil Housley (1,232).

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Colorado -130 money line favorites (NHL Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 5.5 goals (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 62% of bets for this game have been placed on San Joes +115 (View NHL Bet Percentages).

"Every goal is an exciting one now as you do inch closer to a milestone, but more important is doing the things this team needs me to do, going out here and helping them win," Roenick said. "If I go out and play the way they want me to and play hard, that stuff is going to come, and I can enjoy it when the season is over."

Joe Thornton also scored and Evgeni Nabokov had 22 saves for the Sharks (1-0-1), who scored all three goals in the first period a night after losing 3-2 in a shootout at Edmonton in their season opener. San Jose is starting the season with four road games before its home opener against Boston on Saturday.

"We kind of answered the bell. Last night we laid a bit of an egg in Edmonton and tonight the guys responded in the first period," coach Ron Wilson said.

The Sharks have won five of their last seven games against the Avalanche (1-1-0), and went 2-1-1 against them last season. Thornton had four goals and four assists in the four 2006-07 meetings.

Colorado's Joe Sakic, meanwhile, had four goals and five assists against the Sharks.

The Avalanche are coming off Thursday's 4-0 loss in Nashville. Goalie Peter Budaj allowed all four goals before he was replaced in the third period by Tyler Weiman.

Goalie Jose Theodore, slated to be Colorado's backup heading into the season, was scheduled to start Saturday for Lake Erie of the AHL to complete his rehab following offseason knee surgery. The Avalanche said he would return to Colorado on Sunday.

Defenseman Scott Hannan, who signed with Colorado in July after spending his entire career with San Jose, will be making his first appearance against the team he broke in with in 1998-99.

"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to it, but you have to approach it as though it was just another game," he told San Jose's official team Web site. "You just have to worry about going out there and concentrating on what you have to do as a team."

by: Gary Roberts - theSpread.com - Email Us

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