12-17-14: San Jose won all three of its games this past week, including wins over Nashville and Minnesota. They now have seven wins in their last eight matchups. The Sharks have averaged 3.5 goals per game over those eight games. San Jose’s special teams have been important to their recent success. They have a top-10 penalty kill and a top-five power play.
12-10-14: The Sharks had their four game winning streak snapped in Edmonton this past Sunday. It was the second half of a road back-to-back set. I guess it’s understandable, even if the loss was to the hapless and lowly Oilers. Good thing San Jose had Edmonton on their schedule again Tuesday night. This time the Sharks took care of business and dispatched the Oilers 5-2.
12-3-14: The Sharks are now 2-2-2 in their last six games and, despite a six goal outburst against the Ducks this past Saturday. Prior to their much needed victory over the Flyers at home on Tuesday, the Sharks had consecutive losses at home to Florida, Arizona and Calgary. They're sitting on the playoff bubble, and the next few weeks will be crucial to their season.
11-26-14: The Sharks are 2-4-2 in their past eight games. They are reeling, but they’ve got nice possession numbers and are probably better than their 10-9-4 mark indicates. Joe Thornton certainly isn’t the problem as he has seven goals and 20 points in 23 games this season. The Sharks sit 10th in the West as of Tuesday.
11-19-14: San Jose had a .500 record last week in which they won two out of four games played. Todd McLellan opted to go with backup Troy Grosenick in the second half of back-to-back games last week and was rewarded with a 45-save shutout performance of Carolina in his first career NHL game. The Sharks would follow up that win with a 4-1 loss to the Sabres Tuesday night.
11-12-14: The Sharks have alternated wins and losses over their past six games. In their most recent contest, they lost to Florida 4-1. Prior to that, they fell behind 3-0 in the first period of a 5-3 loss to the Blackhawks. The good news for San Jose is they’ve played 12 of their 17 games this season on the road. A bunch of home games are coming up for the Sharks.
11-5-14: San Jose has been solid thus far this season. However, one interesting aspect to watch is their
goaltending situation. Alex Stalock has started four games and Antti Niemi has been solid. Both
goalies have nearly identical save percentages .924 for Stalock, and .923 for Niemi. Stalock will
have to show better if he wants to takeover the number one spot.
10-29-14: The Sharks are one of the most confusing teams early on this season. They followed up a home loss to Buffalo of all teams with a 3-2 shootout win over the Avalanche. They still have a scary offense which can carry them for a longtime, but question marks on the blue line and in goal could have San Jose in trouble this season.
10-22-14: The Sharks rattled off three consecutive wins to start the season and recorded points in all of their first five games before falling to the Rangers and Bruins this week. Despite an offseason that featured a lot of talk about change, nothing was done. San Jose should be a solid regular-season team, but the only thing that matters in Sam Jose is how the Sharks perform in the playoffs.
10-15-14: Kudos to coach Todd McLellan and his Sharks as they began the season with back-to-back shutouts (one each for Antti Niemi and Alex Stalock), including a revenge win against the Kings on opening night. They stripped Joe Thornton of the captaincy in the offseason and it doesn’t seem to have had any repercussions just yet. The Sharks are always a dangerous team in the regular season, but San Jose will be judged on how it does in the postseason.
10-10-14: The San Jose Sharks were able to shutout the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings on the road in their season opener. San Jose scored one goal in the first — Tommy Wingels — and three goals in the second by Patrick Marleau, another by Wingels and Matthew for a 4-0 win. Goaltender Antti Niemi faced 34 shots against the Kings, stopping them all.
4-28-14: Goalie Antti Niemi gave up eight goals on 45 shots in games 4 and 5, and the Sharks lost back-to-back games and saw their lead in the series shrink to 3-2. Backup goalie Alex Stalock came off the bench to stop all four shots he faced in Game 4 and all 22 he faced in Game 5. Head coach Todd McLellan has a huge decision to make in net for game 6 this Monday. The Sharks could be without top defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic for game six after he sustained an upper-body injury in game five.
4-21-14: The Sharks are rolling. They
have outscored the Kings by a combined score of 13-5 in games one and two, and have chased goalie Jonathan Quick once. The line of Andrew Desjardins, Raffi Torres and Mike Brown has set the tone for the Sharks this series. They sparked the victory this past Sunday and provided physical play in game one. San Jose will need to win at the Staples Center, which has been a problem in the past.
4-14-14: San Jose rebounded from a loss in Anaheim this past Wednesday to close out the week with wins over Colorado and Phoenix. Joe Pavelski is one of just three 40-goal scorers in the NHL this season. His 41 goals represent a career-best mark for the former 2003 seventh-round draft pick. The Sharks have a difficult first-round matchup with the Kings.
4-7-14: The Sharks went 2-1-0 this past week. The chances of the Sharks passing the Ducks in the Pacific are slim, but if they beat the Ducks in regulation this upcoming Wednesday, they will have a chance. The Sharks have 12 losses at home this season, ten of which have come against teams that are currently outside of a playoff position. The Sharks will be looking to prove the naysayers wrong this postseason and reach the Cup Finals.
3-31-14: The Sharks had roared to the front of the Pacific Division until this recent two game slide. The Sharks have now given the lead back to the Ducks. The Sharks have been a routine failure in the playoffs before. They’ve had success in the regular season, however, all that matters is the playoffs. Can the Sharks finally win the Stanley Cup? It’s certainly possible, but the West is going to be tough.
3-25-14: The Sharks had won six straight games before going 1-1-1 this past week, including a 3-2 regulation loss to the Panthers. San Jose has overtaken the Ducks for first place in the Pacific and have put themselves in contention to win the West and possibly the Presidents' Trophy. Patrick Marleau reached 30 goals this past Saturday for the seventh time in his past nine seasons. Marleau failed to get to 30 last year when there were only 48 games and in 2007.
3-17-14: San Jose has won six straight and seven of their last eight, including a 1-0 shutout of the Rangers this past Sunday in New York. They are now tied in points with a Ducks team that we all thought had the division wrapped up. San Jose plays the Ducks twice before season’s end and those two games will decide the division crown. West coast hockey gets no love, but this will be a fun race to watch.
3-10-14: Three wins this past week plus a strange OT loss to Carolina keeps the Sharks near the top of the Western Conference. This team will always be judged on how they do in the post season. You can throw away all the gaudy numbers the Sharks post in the regular season because it doesn’t mean squat. They’re perennial chokers come playoff time and they must overcome those previous failures this season. With the West so competitive, any team could reach the Cup Finals.
3-3-14: The Sharks went 2-1 on a three-game road trip, with their only loss coming against the Sabres on the night they traded Ryan Miller and Steve Ott. The top spot in the Pacific isn't out of reach, but the Sharks look secure in the second spot in the division. A first-round date with the Los Angeles Kings seems inevitable. Boy, would that be fun. San Jose’s power play is in a bit of a slump going 2-of-37 in their past 12 games.
2-10-14: It's going to take a major hot streak to run down the Ducks in the Pacific, but the Sharks are capable The Sharks' first 11 games after the Olympic break are against Eastern Conference teams, something that makes that streak seem a little more possible Backup goaltender Alex Stalock has had an outstanding season and is taking playing time away from starter Antti Niemi. Stalock has made six starts in the past month after making five starts from October through December.
2-3-14: It's hard to blame San Jose for falling to Edmonton last week on a night where Ben Scrivens had a 59-save shutout. The Sharks are nine points back of first-place Anaheim and 10 ahead of the third-place Kings. Joe Pavelski isn't the first name that comes to mind when considering the Sharks' offensive weapons, but he is among the team's most effective options. He leads San Jose with 29 goals and his 54 points is one back of team leader Joe Thornton.
1-27-14: The Sharks have won six straight games to take command of the second spot in the Pacific behind the Ducks. Impressively, they won five of those six games by one goal. The Sharks are in a real no man's land as they're nine points behind the Ducks, but 10 points ahead of the third-place Kings. They'll undoubtedly have home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Backup goaltender Alex Stalock has a nice little shutout streak working as he hasn't allowed a goal in 140 minutes, 49 seconds.
1-20-14: San Jose won all three games it played this past week. The Sharks are likely too far back to have any hope of overtaking Anaheim for first in the Pacific, but they do have a four-point lead on Los Angeles and a nine-point lead on Vancouver for second. Joe Pavelski scored his first career hat trick against Tampa Bay this past Saturday. When it comes to the Sharks, it doesn’t matter what they do in regular season. They will be judged by their postseason play.
1-13-14: It's been a .500-month thus far for the Sharks, who are 3-3-0 in January. They've been average since the end of November, going 10-9-1 in their past 20 games. With nearly half the season left, but the Sharks appear to be in no man's land. They are too far back of Anaheim to make a run at the division lead, but have plenty of distance on the ninth-place Phoenix in the West. Joe Thornton was held without a point in a 1-0 loss to Boston on Saturday. It was just the third time in the past 15 games he was kept off the score sheet.
1-7-14: The last 10 games have been challenging for the Sharks. Aside from a lone game against the Oilers, every contest the team has played has come against one of the big nine in the West and five of them against Chicago, St. Louis, Anaheim or Los Angeles. With a little help from the shootout, San Jose went 7-3-0 in that span. That’s a welcoming sign for Sharks fans. With 60 points the Sharks are seven back of the league- and division-leading Anaheim Ducks.
12-30-13: The Sharks have won four straight games after a slide that saw them lose five of seven. By beating the Ducks in regulation this past Sunday, the Sharks stayed within striking distance of the division leaders. The Sharks have a busy January ahead. They play 15 games next month, eight of which will take place away from the HP Pavilion. The potential loss of rookie Tomas Hertl could have a huge impact on San Jose going forward.
12-23-13: The Sharks rebounded this past week from a bit of a rough patch winning two out of three games against St. Louis, Los Angeles and Dallas. San Jose's slump has slid them down in the incredibly competitive Pacific Division's standings. Marty Havlat, who has been a disappointment in San Jose, posted three points in the past week, ending a six game pointless streak. He now has eight points in 22 contests. Rookie Tomas Hertl could miss the rest of the season with a knee injury he sustained in their game against the Kings. That would be a huge blow for San Jose.
12-16-13: San Jose has lost five out of their last six games. The Sharks have been outshot once during the tailspin and have fallen victim to some goaltenders. If San Jose loses a few more in a row, they could plummet from the playoff picture. But if they win three in a row win they could be atop the Pacific Division. That’s what you get when you play in the West. The Sharks have been dominant at home (11-1-1) but mediocre on the road (9-6-3). The Sharks visit St. Louis and Los Angeles this week.
12-9-13: The Sharks entered last week red hot winning five games in a row. That continues in the first game of a four-game road swing, with the Sharks beating Toronto 4-2, but San Jose then dropped three games in four days to Pittsburgh, Carolina and Minnesota. In first period, the Sharks have a 40-14 edge in goals, while in the second and third periods that falls to a 56-56 tie. They must do a better job of closing out teams or they won’t make it far in the playoffs.
12-2-13:The Sharks faced three tough teams last week in Los Angeles, St. Louis and Anaheim and found ways to beat them all. Like Chicago and Detroit, the Sharks enjoyed a perfect record on the week. San Jose is on pace for a 129 point season. Brent Burns, recently returned to the Sharks’ lineup from injury, was a major factor in San Jose’s win over the Blues. Burns was named first star of the game after scoring a hat trick and adding an assist. He now has 14 points in just 13 contests.
11-25-13: The Sharks only has two games this past week and were perfect in both contests. They beat Tampa 5-1 and followed up that win by beating the Devils 2-1. San Jose is 5-2-3 in their last 10 games played. However, the Sharks are a puzzling 1-4 in the shootout. One would think with how much firepower the Sharks have they would be better. Rookie sensation Tomas Hertl continues to dazzle as he now has 12 goals and six assists for 18 points on the season.
11-18-13: The Sharks beat up on the Flames, Canucks, and Oilers last week before getting routed by the Blackhawks 5-1. Tomas Hertl had two more goals last week. He leads all NHL rookies with 18 points. He has 12 goals and six assists on the season. San Jose’s plus-22 goal differential is tops in the NHL. Surprisingly, the Sharks have a poor 1-4 record in the shootout this season. San Jose remains one of the NHL’s elite teams.
11-12-13: The Sharks have lost five consecutive games and still have one of the best records in the league thanks to their 10-1-1 start. They lost to the hapless Sabres 5-4 in the shootout and lost to Vancouver in regulation. Marc-Edouard Vlasic could be a darkhorse for Team Canada’s Olympic team. Through 17 games, Vlasic has 11 points and is a plus-11. He’s been an underrated defenseman for some time now and finally is getting the recognition he deserves.
11-5-13: Hey the Sharks are human after all! They dropped two of three games this week and now have the second best record in the league to the Avalanche. They still picked up four points with two losses this week. The Sharks no longer have the league’s best record, but their plus-26 goal differential leads the NHL. They do lead second-place Colorado by three goals. The Sharks will continue to be at the top the league standings for the rest of year.
10-29-13: The Sharks are the best team in the NHL hands down. They won their first three games of a five-game road trip with a shootout victory over the Wings and wins over Montreal and Ottawa. Their only loss came against the Boston Bruins. They outshot the Bruins 39-17, but David Krejci’s goal with less than a second remaining sealed the deal for the Bruins. Can the Sharks continue this impressive season? It’s very well possible they will.
The Sharks have points in nine straight games and they’re dominating their opponents. Their plus-23 goal differential is tops in the NHL. They are the cream of the crop in the Western Conference. The line of Joe Thornton, Tomas Hertl, and Brent Burns ranks second in the entire league with nine even-strength goals. The Sharks are known for having great regular seasons and then laying duds in the postseason. What this team does in October and November will mean nothing if they don’t get over that hump and win the Stanley Cup.
10-14-13: The Sharks have been the talk of the NHL so far in this young season. Rookie sensation Tomas Hertl leads in the NHL in goals with seven and his highlight reel goal versus the New York Rangers stirred some controversy. Nevertheless, the Sharks are once again a formidable force in Western Conference. It should be noted the 2012-13 Sharks started off the season 7-0-0 before going a 12 game winless streak in February. This should be a cautionary tale for San Jose.
10-7-13: The Sharks are off to a solid start, in what many believe could be a Stanley Cup winning year for San Jose. Rookie Tomas Hertl has been impressive in his first two games. Antti Niemi is once again proving why he should be considered an elite goalie in the NHL.
9-4-13: Ten straight berths in to the playoffs is a minor aspiration for the San Jose Sharks. As they try to get the playoff monkey off their back, little has changed for the talent laden roster. What should be noted is that this is a contract years for captain, “Jumbo” Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle. A contract extension for Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski means, that the face of the franchise has split and a youth movement can get caught in the current, leaving the seasoned vets washed out. Pittsburgh Penguins forward, Tyler Kennedy was acquired to bolster youthful third to fourth line offense and that’s a low risk with high reward. GM Doug Wilson has faith in his “reset/refresh” belief for the Sharks but who’s to say that this season will be less of a refresh and more of a reset for a rebuild.
The opening of the season pits the Sharks against the Vancouver Canucks and is an upstream battle, as the Pacific Division has only gained more creativity than certainty.
8-3-13: The Sharks have signed center Joe Pavelski to a $30M, five-year contract extension.
Sharks 2013 NHL Draft Summary:
Pick #18: Mirco Mueller, D
Pick #49: Gabryel Paquin-Boudreau, LW
Pick #117: Fredrik Bergvik, G
Pick #141: Michael Brodzinski, D
Pick #151: Gage Ausmus, D
Pick #201: Jacob Jackson, C
Pick #207: Emil Galimov, LW