Well, 7-1-1 doesn’t sound too bad, does it? With nine games already gone in this lockout-shortened season, the San Jose Sharks have done exceedingly well. The reason they have had this kind of success is because of Patrick Marleau’s hot hand. Also, everyone has a good gripping on their respective roles. Let’s just say that they aren’t doing something that they’re not capable of doing, or not supposed to be doing.
Monday night, in a disheartening loss to the Anaheim Ducks, the Sharks still showed promise. Logan Couture scored the only goal for the Sharks in the first period. Up until then, the Sharks played pretty well, but were unable to prevent the Ducks from scoring two goals in the final period to win. Nevertheless, San Jose still showed that they are the best team out there.
After nine games of play, the Sharks have 39 games left. That seems like a lot considering that the season has just started, but it’ll actually pass by very quickly.
With the playoffs starting in late March, the Sharks are going to have to get ready. In the passed year, they’ve been absolutely deadly in the regular season, but fade in the playoffs. Hopefully this is only because veterans, such as Marleau and Joe Thornton, get tired by the time postseason arrives.
If this is the case, the Sharks have nothing to worry about. With a fresh Thornton and a fresh Marleau, the Sharks should be sweeping teams left, right and center. There may be a deeper problem, however.
What if Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau just can’t handle the pressure? Both of them were first round picks – lottery, in fact. Neither of them has won the Stanley Cup. If they are supposed to be the best players on their respective teams, then why can’t they lead their team to the Stanley Cup? In their younger years, they still failed to do it. Now, however, they have a team to back up their incredible play.
With youngsters such as Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski spreading the ice, the veterans get more room to operate. This allows the Sharks to attack when they’re ready. Just in case Marleau and Thornton start to falter in the playoffs, Pavelski and Couture will be able to pick up some of the slack.
Final Verdict: The Sharks will be deadly in the playoffs.