It seems like a regular occurrence that the hockey world discusses the San Jose Sharks in the same breath as “Stanley Cup champions.” Problem is, most of those sentences involve predictions and analysis on what could happen in the upcoming season.
The Sharks are not just one of the league’s best teams with regards to wins and points, but they rank third in the league in goals for and sixth in goals against. They have the second-best goal differential in the NHL, behind only St. Louis. Their roster includes five players with over 20 points and 11 players with 10 points or more.
Even players that usually don’t contribute offensively are pitching in, as is evident by Brent Burns and his hat trick Friday afternoon against the St. Louis Blues.
The Sharks are clicking and firing on all cylinders – as they typically are at this point in each season. The issue is always how they respond to the pressure of the playoffs.
But this year really seems different (how often have we heard that?). They simply look like a team with new determination and a newfound passion for the game. All that stands in their way seems to be an even more dominant Chicago squad – but we’ll deal with that in the Western Conference final. Right?