With the NHL season seemingly having a long way to go, you may be surprised to learn that it’s more than half way done!
The playoffs are coming up quickly, and the San Jose Sharks are currently in 9th place, one point behind the Stars. They are one of the most exciting teams in the NHL, but haven’t been playing like it as of late.
Either Antti Neimi is not on his game, or the Sharks let a puck get to the net too easily. These are problems that are huge, but not hard to overcome.
Here are five reasons why they will make the playoffs:
The Sharks are lead by guys like Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, who are itching for another chance at the cup before leaving the best years of their career. They’re getting old and know that it’s now or never. Remember the first seven games of the season, when the Sharks went 7-0? Yes, we all remember that. It was because of Marleau’s hot hand, leading the way.
Now, however, it’s slow, and the Sharks are struggling offensively, and not scoring defensively. It’s not like their defense is terrible, but it’s just not getting the job done. I know that somewhere inside the heads of the Sharks’ veterans, that switch is going to go off. They won’t allow their team to miss the playoffs.
I was just talking about old players on the Sharks, but there are also some guys that can provide energy. Guys on the third line like Andrew Desjardins have been making an impact with the little time that they have on the ice, not to mention Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture on the first and second line. All these guys are future stars, but they need to start scoring more. There is more of a responsibility on Couture and Pavelski because they are the youth leaders of the team. Their explosiveness combined with veteran presence will be beneficial.
The Sharks’ goalie Antti Neimi has had some pretty rough games this year, being pulled out more than once. Fortunately for him, he makes some great saves, and the other players are at fault for the letting the puck get so far to the net.
Once again, Neimi was the one who lead his Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup a couple of years ago. He’s still as good of a goaltender. He just needs to wake up a little bit, as the Sharks come closer to the postseason.
2. Inconsistency Goes Away:
It does, it really does. Players that have been good in the past will continue to shine. For example, Joe Pavelski has had a rough season, but once he starts to get back into his groove offensively and defensively, the Sharks, as a unit, will be much better. He needs a spark to get him going, and that could be any game that the Sharks have left.
1. Logan Couture:
Couture is the young star of the Sharks, and has been playing decently well so far this season. He knows that he has to lead this team because he is the most energetic. So far this season, he has 14 goals and 9 assists. Not bad, as he is right behind Marleau, but he knows that in order to help his team reach the playoffs, and he has to use that ability to take over a game.
Based on these five reasons, it is hard to imagine a scenario where the the Sharks will be missing the playoffs this season.