San Jose Sharks Season Preview History
#2 St. Louis Blues vs. #7 San Jose Sharks: 2011-12 Playoffs
This is a mismatch at first glance, but if San Jose can find a way to crack Ken Hitchcock’s defense there might be some room for the Sharks to get past the Blues.
With Dany Heatley shipped off to Minnesota and Jamie McGinn to Colorado, San Jose will look to new additions Daniel Winnik and Martin Havlat for some more punch in the offense. They’ll need to top a solid core of Blues that includes Jamie Langenbrunner and Jason Arnott, who were once traded for each other and have six combined championships.
SAN JOSE SHARKS 2011-2012 SEASON PREVIEW:
The Sharks’ start to the 2010-11 season was a disastrous one for a team many picked to win the Stanley Cup. After stumbling out of the gate and eventually falling to the 12th in the West, they righted the ship and eventually finished 2nd overall. They would knock out a rival Kings team and the Red Wings from the playoffs before getting booted by Vancouver, but the team knew that changes had to be made if they were going get past the Western Conference Finals.
They decided that Minnesota was a one-stop shop for them, picking up Brent Burns and speedster Martin Havlat from the Wild. How they will replace the now-current Wild players Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi remains to be seen—their ceilings aren’t as high, but the Havlat and Burns duo bring a sense of physicality and speed that wasn’t on the team before. With Logan Coture pegged to fill Setoguchi’s skates, the team is looking to finally make the run for the Cup with a cupboard filled with one of the most talented rosters in the NHL.
San Jose Sharks 2010-2011 NHL Preview:
The San Jose Sharks edged out eventual Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks for the number one seed in the Western Conference last season, but they were swept by Chicago in the conference finals. San Jose returns a lot of talent from last year's team, and should be among the top contenders out west once again.
The offense will likely be the Sharks strong point this year, much as was the case last season. Joe Thornton is back off of an impressive 89 point campaign, and will be joined by a number of strong goal scorers. Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau can both provide goals when called upon, and Joe Pavelski is certainly a viable option as well. Despite the loss of Manny Malhotra, the Sharks should be able to net plenty of goals.
While their offense is strong, the defense has several question marks. The retirement of veteran Rob Blake was a big hit as he provided leadership and strong defense, and San Jose will have to rely on Dan Boyle and Jason Demers to shut down opposing forwards. The goaltending duties will likely fall to Antti Niemi and Antero Niittymaki, both of whom are solid, but not elite netminders.
San Jose Sharks 2009-2010 NHL Preview:
The San Jose Sharks must be looking at the 2009-2010 NHL season as a chance to avenge a tough playoff loss last season. The Sharks cruised through last year, eventually recording the most points in the NHL. Then San Jose was upset in the 1st round of the NHL playoffs by the Anaheim Ducks. Sharks captain Rob Blake and star Joe Thornton will be looking to make a return trip to the playoffs this year, but hope to play a little longer next Spring and possibly compete for a Stanley Cup.