The writers here at the FanSided Sports Network are now on day twenty one of our NHL season preview. I’d like you to skate over to each of our sites daily and see what our talented hockey writers have to say about their teams’ upcoming season. Remember, we’re all fans and we have high expectations for our team, and previews are what they are…..previews. It will be interesting to see what the gang here has to say about their respective clubs. Will the Washington Capitals finally challenge for the Cup, what will happen to the Boston Bruins as they try to defend their championship, and can the Vancouver Canucks survive the “heartbreak” of losing in the Finals without tearing up their city….again.
Today’s preview comes from Alex Schirru our “new” lead writer for our San Jose Sharks site Blades of Teal. Alex has been doing a great job since taking over the position and has already built a nice staff to give a variety of opinions on the San Jose Sharks. As you take a look at the Sharks and their roster for this season it would appear that they are a pretty strong club. Each year San Jose is picked as a perennial Stanley Cup contender, and for the most part they perform very well during the regular season. However, something seems to happen in the playoffs, and for whatever reason they just can’t get over the proverbial hump. They have finished first in the Pacific Division four consecutive times, and they have two Western Conference Finals to show for their efforts. Something needed to be done, and we’ll see if this time Doug Wilson has done it.
Alex had this to say about the offseason shakeup:
General Manager Doug Wilson (D.W.) is a smart hockey man. Being a smart hockey man means sometimes you have to make tough hockey decisions. This offseason D.W. shook up the Sharks lineup in a big way. He sent snipers Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for sniper Martin Havlat and big-time defenseman Brent Burns. Some were shocked at these changes. I mean, the team has won 4 straight Pacific Division titles and been to 2 straight Western Conference Finals. What is missing is the all important Stanley Cup Finals berth. D.W. is hoping that this shakeup will put this team over the hump
I personally can’t tell you that the off season moves will be enough to allow San Jose to advance beyond what they’ve already accomplished. The Western Conference is extremely competitive from top to bottom as far as the 8 playoff positions go, and there will be at least 3-4 teams that will scramble for the final couple spots. I think the addition of Brent Burns to the defence will make a big impression, as will Martin Havlat on offence provided he can stay healthy.
Yes San Jose is a contender. At some point this core of players consisting of Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Dan Boyle and Joe Pavelski needs to show that they can perform in the post season as well as the regular season.
Here’s the rest of the Sharks preview.
Up next will be the St. Louis Blues.