Team to Watch Out For: San Jose Sharks

With the regular season wrapping up soon and the playoffs right around the corner, plenty of teams are still fighting for a playoff spot. Some may only be a few points away from a  wild card, while some are getting their golf clubs ready for the upcoming offseason. But there are some teams who are hungry for a shot at Lord Stanley, especially this Western Conference powerhouse. They have never won the Stanley Cup, which makes them more hungry every year. Pacific Division, watch out for the San Jose Sharks.

Ever since the ’03-04 season, the San Jose Sharks have been an incredibly skilled and tough team; not only in its division but to the rest of the league. From clinching a wild card a few years to the President’s Trophy in 2009, this team has always stuck around in the postseason to compete for the grand trophy.

Along with an outstanding fan base, becoming the first franchise based in the San Francisco area in 1990, San Jose has some All Star players on their roster. In 1997, they drafted Patrick Marleau, who today is the all-time Sharks leader in goals, even-strength goals, power play goals, points, shots and games played.

In the 2003 Draft, they drafted current Captain, Joe Pavelski. Pavelski is a constant offensive threat, ranking towards the top every year regarding goals scored and power play goals scored. During the 05-06 season, they acquired superstar Joe Thornton from the Boston Bruins, who is the Sharks all-time leader in assists and one of the highest-scoring players ever in the NHL.

With the 9th overall pick in the 2007 NHL Draft, the Sharks drafted Logan Couture, who in is rookie year, became the franchise leader in goals scored and is currently an Alternate Captain for the team. In 2011, the Sharks traded for big defenseman Brent Burns, who is a 4-time All Star and is the leading candidate for the Norris Trophy this season.

The Sharks parted ways with Todd McLellan, who coached from 2008-2015 and led them to the playoffs 6 consecutive years. San Jose, who originally was in playoff contention, lost to Western Conference teams down the stretch, causing them to miss the playoffs. Fans restless, players’ temper on the rise, the franchise had to think of something to save their team. Last year, they hired Peter DeBoer, former New Jersey Devils coach, while also picking up key players in forward Joel Ward and star goaltender Martin Jones. To everyone’s surprise, the Sharks made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final, but unfortunately they fell to Pittsburgh.

With the playoffs looming, the Sharks look to capture the Pacific Division title for the first time since the 2010-11 season. The Los Angeles Kings are fighting for a playoff spot being down a few points, and the Anaheim Ducks and Calgary Flames are behind San Jose, so everyone is keeping the race close. But one thing is for certain: when the Sharks are hot, they’re hot.

Watch out, NHL.

Raised in a competitive family, sports has been the majority of my life. Not only playing but watching as well. Born in Oak Lawn, IL (suburb of Chicago), I tend to have a bias, but I try to keep an open mind. Nonetheless, I enjoy watching and talking sports.

Twitter: @ChiTownGuy24

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