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Breakthrough season?
Up-and-down campaign so far not such a downer
10/11/09 - By Paul Krill

Could this be the breakthrough season for the Sharks? It's already a breakthrough season for me, personally, because I got my son to go to a game with me when he hadn't had much interest in going to games before. A breakthrough for the Sharks, of course, would be defined as at least an extended stay in the playoffs, hopefully concluding with a Stanley Cup championship. And we have to wait six, count them, six months to begin to find out, because that's how long it is until the playoffs.

So far, it's been ups and downs, with the Sharks winning three and looking not-so-hot in two losses. The three wins, though, have all been very satisfying, even if it took the Sharks until the second period to get things going in the home games against Columbus and Minnesota.

The most satisfying win was the 4-2 win against Minnesota Saturday because the goaltending kept the Sharks in the game. I was beginning to think the Sharks were going to need Dany Heatley hat tricks every night because of suspect goaltending. Saturday's win makes me feel better about the Sharks' situation in goal.

Speaking of Heatley, his performance in the home opener reminded me of why I enjoy the entertainment of Sharks hockey. Watching the Sharks blanked through the first period, I'd forgotten what the excitement was all about. But it doesn't get much more entertaining than a guy in his first home game for the Sharks scoring a hat trick on a penalty shot.

When we look at this roster, we see what kind of looks like a super-team in some respects. Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Dan Boyle and Heatley all on the same team? How did we get lucky enough for that to happen? Every one of these guys might find himself on the Canadian Olympic team, the toughest team to make in the world.

On paper, when we look at the top end of the roster, we have to figure the Sharks should be a contender for the Cup. But the Sharks have been contenders before, to no avail.

The 3-2 record so far might seem a little disconcerting but it's actually not so bad because we've all seen how much it means to blow away the rest of the league in the fall and peak too early: You get the consolation prize - the President's Trophy, rather than Stanley's cup.

Since the Sharks can't win every game, it's better that they lose a few now instead of running out of gas in the spring when it really counts.

Only 77 games or so to go until the important games begin.

Contact Paul at at


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