San Jose Sharks
NHL 15: San Jose Sharks Guide
Written By: Meatb4ll
Year in Review:
Huge excitement. Everything’s going well. Something derails it. Sound familiar?
The year started really well. Two rookies made the team – Tomas Hertl & Matt Nieto. This part peaked against the Rangers, sorry Marty. Hertl looked like a Calder finalist and Nieto even had a three point night. Then Hertl was hurt. Couture got hurt. Torres was hurt from the beginning of the season. Havlat too. There’s an entire top 9 line out. Boyle got knocked out and was never the same. Niemi was merely average. Meet the glass cannon team for the year.
Playoffs the same. Three great games, one important piece injured. This time the important piece was the cornerstone of the blueline. Everything fell apart when the rest of the blueliners had to try and make up for his absence. The team got disheartened at some of the officiating. Everyone revived jokes that were beat to death half a decade ago. Oh well, if you can’t beat them join them.
They’ll get tired eventually.
Our GM decided to fuck with everyone’s heads and do nothing in free agency except sign Fluffy. Then Jumbo and Patty refused to leave and DW stopped being insane. So we traded Stuart for more than a bag of pucks AND didn’t retain any salary. That was a brilliant move. All the RFAs are resigned, and the team could be really good next year if TMac decides to play the skill, not the facepunching. In all honesty, I’m probably being a tad pessimistic.
Highlights from the 2013 – 2014 Season:
Why the San Jose Sharks Will Win The Cup This Year:
Despite bringing in two bad hockey players, resigning a third, and having a fourth under contract for another two years, the Sharks still have oodles of skill. If coach uses his forwards optimally, he can have four fantastic lines. Even if he tries Hertl at center, his natural position. Possible lines are:
Pavs – Jumbo – Kennedy
Couture – Marleau – Nieto
Torres – Hertl – Wingels
Sheppard – Desjardins – FACEPUNCHER/ROOKIE
That gives Jumbo a skilled player to play with and a speedy, shot-happy forward. The shutdown line stays the same, Hertl gets a chance at center with two people who can play hockey well, and someone who can scare off the Dustin Browns of the NHL. Desi’s a good 4th line center, Shep is a great 4th line winger, and that’s a recipe for wonderfulness this season. They also have Tye McGinn who could get a few games and be good, and Nikolai Goldobin will likely get a look.
The defense could also be great. There are three fantastic right-shooting blueliners – Burns, Braun, Demers. One will get to play with Vlasic and be great. If Irwin can bounce back to his for from the lockout shortened season, that only leaves one spot of trouble. If neither Mueller nor Abeltshauser can take it, Hannan would be a decent stopgap as a 6th d-man.
Overall, the team has potential for ridiculous forward matchups that let Thornton and Hertl munch on easy competition. The defense could be pretty good too. Also, they’ve done all the chocking found in a regular season during this offseason.
Why the San Jose Sharks Won’t Win The Cup This Year:
Because offloading Adam Burish (unnecessary, but a bonus), letting Mike Brown walk, signing both Benoit Pouliot & Mark Fayne to the same contracts Edmonton did, pitching really hard to Kevin Hayes, and not overreacting was too damn difficult.
Too much grit will be played. DW brought in to UFAs – many of whom could have made SJ a powerhouse to be feared by everyone. TMac will, at some point, probably have a Scott – Burish – Brown line, and that’s a recipe for absolute disaster. The Sharks get disheartened easily – like when rules are blatantly ignored, and they’ll wither a bit. They’re also doomed to go through one or both of LA and Anaheim each year in the playoffs for the foreseeable future. Would anyone in the Metro like to swap with San Jose? Besides, every time the fanbase gets excited, something shitty happens – riding unsustainable shooting percentages one year, running into LA a couple others, facing Chicago the one series where Niemi was lights out (when he was on their team), y’know – things completely out of the team’s control. And of course, the rest of the league’s fanbases want us to fail beacuse they can’t wait to bring out beaten to death jokes that we’ve had to hear for at least a decade.