When the San Jose Sharks get a power play during a home game, they play the Jaws theme over the loudspeakers and the fans use their arms to mimic a shark chomp. It’s all very cute.
The Sharks have been a really good team lately. I thought they were at their best during the 2013-14 season and didn’t think anyone could beat them. Then they lost in the first round and missed the playoffs completely the following year. What do I know?
But in 2016, they made it to the Stanley Cup Final, before ultimately losing to Pittsburgh.
Now, it feels like their window of opportunity is closing.
Joe Thornton – His beard might be bigger than his face. He is a legend. He is a future hall of famer. He is one of the best passers to ever play in the NHL. He is starting to slow down so don’t expect any more 70 point seasons from him, but he could still put up a respectable 50-60 point campaign.
Joe Pavelski – After Patrick Marleau and Thornton had their run as Captain, Pavelski took the torch. I don’t think people talk about him enough. At his best, he can reach 30 goals/40 assists. I don’t know if he’s at his best anymore, though.
Logan Couture – He’s been a solid second line centre for the Sharks for his entire career. More of the same this season.
Notable: Tomas Hertl, Joonas Donskoi, Kevin Labanc
Brent Burns – His beard might be bigger than his face, too. He’s one of the best defenseman in the NHL. He had 76 points last season and 75 points the year before. I don’t think he’ll reach 70 for a third straight season, though.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – They call him, “Pickles”. He’s been an Olympian. He’s been a steady defensive, and sometimes offensive presence for the Sharks since 2006.
Tim Heed – He’s a 26-year-old rookie from Sweden who has found time on the first power play unit. The Sharks normally went with 4 forwards and 1 defenseman on the top PP unit, but Marleau left and Heed came in. Hey, when opportunity knocks…
Notable: Justin Braun, Brenden Dillon
Martin Jones – After being a backup in Los Angeles for a couple of seasons, he was traded to Boston. Boston then traded him to San Jose because LA would never do that. That was in 2015. Since then, he’s been one of the best goalies in the league. I’m just surprised Boston still does business with San Jose after trading them Thornton and getting (pretty much) nothing back.
Aaron Dell – He got a shutout last night and has a 1.94 Goals Against Average this season. Solid backup.
1. Their mascot is named SJ Sharkie, which I’ve always felt has been a cheap nickname. You don’t see the Leafs naming their mascot, TM Leafie. Or the Devils naming theirs, NJ Devil. Just seems like a cop out.
2. The Sharks have missed the playoffs only 6 times since they entered the league in 1991.
3. They play out of the SAP Center. There is a food place called Armadillo Willy’s inside, where you can get beef brisket, pork spareribs, BBQ chicken thighs, and spicy peanut slaw. Hungry?
WHAT CHRIS THINKS
The Sharks are a mess. Their fowards are too old and not skilled enough, and they spend too much money on defense. Even worse, the Sharks have already parted with their second and third round picks for this upcoming draft.
LAST MINUTE OF PLAY
I think the Sharks are just barely holding on to what they’ve got, it doesn’t make a difference if they make it or not, they’ve got each other and that’s enough for love, they’ll give it a shot.
Seriously though, their best players are getting older and I know they’re bringing in young talent like Donskoi, Hertl, and Labanc, to help ease the transition, but I don’t see any of them becoming superstars.
I think they’ll make the playoffs, but I don’t expect them to do much.
ONE WILD PREDICTION
Armadillo Willy’s will run out of food during one home game.
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