Sunday, January 6, 2013

Will the Shortened Season Help or Hurt the San Jose Sharks?

The San Jose Sharks' offense is ready to go. The majority of the roster has played overseas and experienced significant playing time in a competitive environment. Most notably, Joe Thornton and Logan Couture were key players for their respective teams in Switzerland.

The defense, however, is drawing some skepticism, after reports saying Brent Burns, Jason Demers and Justin Braun are going through their set of injuries surfaced. Nothing appears serious, but in a shortened NHL season, any injury is a costly one.

CSN Bay Area's Kevin Kurz has some insight into whether or not the Sharks will be ready to take on the challenges of a 48-50-game season once it begins.

"The Sharks had 11 players take part in competitive play overseas at some point during the lockout, so they should be in as good or better shape than the competition. If Sheppard makes the club he’ll be in game shape from the get-go, too. 
At the same time, San Jose’s primary competition to regain the Pacific Division crown will probably be the Los Angeles Kings, who played into the middle of June on their way to the Stanley Cup. The Kings, who are returning essentially their entire championship team, should benefit from the extra rest and avoid the so-called Stanley Cup hangover. 
the Sharks may have one ace up their sleeve, though, in associate coach Larry Robinson. Robinson was an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils in 1995 during the last shortened season, and all the Devils did that year was win the Stanley Cup. Perhaps Robinson gained some knowledge from that season to pass it along to his new club?"

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