2014 San Jose Sharks Season Preview
The regular season and the first 3 games of the 2013 NHL quarterfinals could not have gone much better for the San Jose Sharks hockey team. The Sharks finished the regular season with 51 wins and were tied for the 3rd highest points total in the Western Conference. They then took on rival Los Angeles Kings in the quarterfinals and jumped out to a commanding 3-0 series lead. That was when the wheels fell off, and the Sharks proceeded to lose 4 in a row to end their season. The biggest questions surrounding the Sharks in 2014 will be leadership. Longtime captain Joe Thornton was stripped of his captain title following their first round playoff collapse, and it is yet to be seen how he will respond to his new role. Another big question mark will be in the net as Alex Stalock looks to push former starter Antti Niemi for the starting job. The additions of John Scott and Taylor Fedun were meant to add some toughness that the Sharks simply lacked in the final four games of last season. The San Jose Sharks have a large amount of talent on their team and should once again be one of the teams to beat in the Western Conference in 2014.
2013 San Jose Sharks Season Preview
The Sharks are trying to get better after falling in the conference semifinals to the Kings last season in 7 games, and it looks like they’ve done it after a big trade with the Penguins to gain the services of Tyler Kennedy. They’ll also be relying on the squad’s youth, as Tomas Hertl is looked upon as a solid contributor and the Sharks best prospect. A lot this season will sit on the shoulders of Antti Niemi, as he’ll have to lead early on or risk losing his job to newcomer Alex Stalock. San Jose has only one home stand of more than two consecutive games through the end of January, when the Jets, Wild and Kings come into the Bay area late into the month. Before then, they’ll welcome in Red Wings and Bruins on Jan. 9th and 11th, respectively.
2012 San Jose Sharks Season Preview
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.
2011 San Jose Sharks 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.
2010 San Jose Sharks Season 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.
2009 San Jose Sharks Season 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.