Wednesday, April 14, 2010

This Is Sharks Playoff Territory

What makes this season different? Another #1 seed, another trip to the playoffs, and yet this team is not a favorite by any means to win the Stanley Cup.

With their playoff track-record, who would pick them to win it all? Year after year, we see this team go into the playoffs and come out with nothing. Last year was a new low, even for a franchise that has had as little success as the Sharks in the playoffs.

But this year will be different, right? At least, that's what we have told ourselves for the last 5 seasons. What makes this year different, then?

For one, the Sharks parted ways with 11 guys from last year's team and replaced them with a nice mix of young players and veterans with experience in the game. Torrey Mitchell, Jamie McGinn, Manny Malhotra, and Scott Nichol will all play key roles in these playoffs to help out the front-line guys.

Two, usually the Sharks are crawling into the playoffs with injuries or end-of-season bad play. This year, there are no injuries to speak of and they went 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. Joe Thornton scared us for awhile with his injury, but I think that was more of a lengthy rest that Coach Todd McLellan used for him. Marc-Edouard Vlasic is one that is key to the success of the defense, but he is back from his injury and back to his normal defensive self.

Three, Evgeni Nabokov usually struggles in the last few games of the season and brings that with him into the playoffs. But this year, some could argue that Nabby is playing his best since before the Olympic break. Nabby is who determines how far the Sharks will go in the playoffs. If he can take his play from the final games of the regular season and use it in the playoffs, the Sharks may have something.

Four, the Sharks offense is usually fire in the regular season, but tends to slow down in the playoffs. The Sharks addressed that to the fullest extent during the offseason, picking up scorer Dany Heatley in a deal. If that won't fix the problem, nothing will. Plus, Joe Pavelski is peaking at just the right time for the Sharks.

So what makes you think the Sharks won't make a run for the Stanley Cup? Nothing. But if you look closer, things have changed in San Jose. The pieces are there for the first time in a long time for the Sharks to win the Stanley Cup. It is just up to the them to put it all together.


  1. NO NO, this possibly cant be happening AGAIN..its not groundhog day, is it? haven't Sharks fans suffered enough during playoff time? This is NOT the way to start out a playoff series. Avenge this loss Sharks and lets act like a #1 seed

  2. It's just game 1, but i expected more. There needs to be more contribution from the top-line, Nabby will keep up his good play.