The lockout of the 2012-2013 NHL season has many fans, players, and coaches worried. It has cancelled games through mid-January, and the situation is not getting any better. Unfortunately for the good NHL teams, they will have less time to establish dominance. This means that if there is a 2013 season, the best teams will not necessarily qualify for the playoffs.
For the Sharks, is this good or bad? Well, in the first couple of months of the 2011-2012 season, the Sharks were off to a very hot start. Sure enough, however, they found themselves mired in a huge slump which dropped them to 9th place. They were, however, able to make the playoffs on literally the second to last regular season game. What does this say about their track record?
Well, because of old players like Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, the Sharks do very well at the beginning. However, when Thornton and Marleau get tired, they leave all the veteran work to Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski. Although these two are the future of the franchise, they cannot yet carry a team to the playoffs without the help of their mentors.
With the addition of former Shark, Brad Stuart, the Sharks’ aren’t getting younger. While they did add more veteran experience, they may have slowed the team even more.
Thank God for the Lockout! Now that there may only be 48-55 regular season games, the Sharks will likely make the playoffs and do even better. Since there won’t really be a second half of the season, Thornton, Marleau, Stuart, and Boyle can really take over in these games and prove to the world just how good the Sharks really are.
Backed up by younglings like Couture and Pavelski, there’s no stopping them. The window for a championship, however, is closing. Thornton and Marleau are near the ends of their careers and they need to step it up before the Sharks go into their time of rebuilding.