Similar to basketball, hockey is played 5-on-5 with one addition - the goaltender - consisting of three forwards, two defensemen and a goaltender on the ice. The offensive players are grouped in "lines" and there is one forward line (3 forwards) and one defensive pairing (2 defensemen) playing at the same time, along with the goalie. Here is more background on the positions.
- FORWARD - the offensive players. Forward positions are futher split into Center, Left Wing and Right Wing. The center position is considered the playmaker. Centers also are responsible for covering the entire area of the playing surface. The wings' goal is to gain possession of the puck, get the puck to the center and then score goals.
- DEFENSEMEN - the defensive players.
- GOALTENDER - the last line of defense.
JOE THORNTON - #19 - Captain
6'4" / 225 lbs.
Like a floor general, Joe Thornton is one of the best passers in the league. He has led the league in assists three times and was the 2004-05 World Championship MVP for Canada.
Watch some of Joe Thornton's best plays here:
Joe's playoff series winning goal vs LA Kings
Jumbo's no-look pass to Marleau
Thornton's 1,000th point
Jumbo's Breakaway goal
PATRICK MARLEAU - #12 - Alternate Captain
6'2" / 225 lbs.
Voted as the Fan Favorite Player last season, Patrick Marleau is the heart of the Sharks. A deadly scorer, Patrick Marleau is one of the fastest players in the league.
Watch some of Patrick Marleau's best plays here:
Marleau's one-timer rocket vs the Wild
Marleau's give-and-go goal
Marleau's steal and score
Marleau's playoff goal vs DET (2010)
DAN BOYLE - #22 - Alternate Captain
5'11" / 200 lbs.
Dan Boyle is an experienced player that has won a championship, been an All-Star and always is at the top of the league in defensemen scoring.
Watch some of Dan Boyle's best plays here:
Boyle's setup pass to Marleau
Boyle's game-winner vs LA Kings
Boyle's rocket vs VAN
Boyle's power move vs BUF (2009)
ANTTI NIEMI - #31
6'1" / 225 lbs.
A young phemon, Antti Niemi won a championship in his first year in the league. He signed with San Jose in his second year and lead the Sharks to the Conference Finals. Niemi makes spectacular saves.
Watch some of Antti Niemi's best saves here:
Niemi's glovehand save vs LA Kings
Niemi's kick save vs NJD
Niemi's playoff save on Ericsson vs DET
Niemi's breakaway save vs CHI
JOE PAVELSKI - #8
6'0" / 215 lbs.
Nickname: "The Big Pavelski"
Pavelski is one of the craftiest players in the league and his smarts are yielding more and more goals.
Watch some of Joe Pavelski's best plays here:
Pavelski's sneak vs NSH
Pavelski's goal to force OT vs NJD
Pavelski's tip-in vs PHX
Pavelski's backhander vs NYI
DOUGLAS MURRAY - #3
6'4" / 235 lbs.
The enforcer. Douglas Murray is one of the toughest players in the league and plays defense like it every night.
Watch some of Douglas Murray's best plays here:
Murray's hit on Hanzal vs PHX
Murray's hit on Vrbata vs PHX
Murray's hit on Kessler vs VAN
Murray's hit on Chipchura vs ANA