Extra Point: The Sharks are Back and Better than Ever
In the past five or so years, the San Jose Sharks have been one of the most heartbreaking teams in the NHL. They always seem to be making a deep run in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but they happen to come up short year after year. Though we say this every year for the Sharks, this is the year for the Sharks to make something happens.
In recent years the Sharks have largely been based around Joe Thorton and Patrick Marleau. And though these are two superb players and leaders of the Sharks, they are getting a bit old. But San Jose has begun making the transition to a few key younger players whom Thorton and Marleau can play around, namely Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski. The now youthful face of the Sharks has once again sparked their exciting, intense play style. Last regular season, Couture came up with a team leading 21 goals. The good thing is that Thorton and Marleau are still able to have a big affect on the game from their supporting roles. To Couture's 21 goals, Thorton came up with 33 assists.
Defensively, the Sharks still have Antti Niemi locking it down between the pipes. Though Niemi has many times been overlooked in talking about the NHL's top goalies, he is without a doubt a top five goalie. His .924 save percentage and 2.16 average goals against are certainly numbers to be looked at.
In conclusion, the new, younger team leaders for the Sharks will begin to turn things around. Now, I'm not suggesting they will 100% win the Stanley Cup this season. But they will do better than they have been, and in the next few years begin making a significant post season run. This team is the beginning to success in San Jose.