It's been a mixed bag for the Sharks so
|11/27/17 - By Paul Krill -
As of this writing, the Sharks have played a bit
more than 25 percent of their regular season games. It's been a mixed bag, with
some impressive wins. But there are some troubling concerns. Following are some
observations of how things have gone:
* I hope Sharks ownership is
enjoying its share of the hefty expansion fee ($500 million) paid by the Vegas
Golden Knights who, courtesy of a generous expansion draft and good management,
not to mention on-ice wins, now sit in first place in the Pacific Division.
Remember the days when expansion teams had to ice third-stringers and could be
counted on as a phone-in win for opponents? Nobody wanted to lose to them
because of the embarrassment. The rules have changed. Vegas could claim a
playoff spot that might otherwise have gone to the Sharks.
* So Martin
Jones gives up three goals on 14 shots on Friday against the aforementioned
Knights and then stands on his head Saturday against the Jets, shutting them
out but apparently sustaining an injury in the process. If he's out any length
of time, this of course would be a great concern.
* The rash of
nullified goals for the Sharks, with nebulous goalie interference calls and Tim
Heed being off-sides by a couple of inches, is infuriating. Will the worm turn
on this anytime soon? In a league that could use more scoring, we're seeing
hard-fought goals repeatedly taken off the board.
* When we look at
the Sharks lineup and try to find an All Star, only Logan Couture (13 goals, 6
assists, +7) really stands out and, on most nights, Jones (2.05 GAA).
Meanwhile, Brent Burns has a grand total of one goal, which he scored just a
couple of days ago, and players like Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski have not
shown up on the scoring sheet as much as they used to. Both are in their 30s
and Thornton is coming off a major injury. Will they recover or is it just time
to start thinking about the post-Pavelski, post-Thornton era? Can Burns start
producing anywhere close to the pace he had last season when he won the Norris
Trophy? Thus far, it doesn't look promising. He certainly is not a candidate to
repeat his Norris win at this juncture.
* While Patrick Marleau didn't do much during his
return to San Jose on October 30, he is enjoying a good season in Toronto, on
pace for close to 30 goals and 20 or so assists. Would he have those stats if
he stayed with the Sharks? I guess we'll never know but it looks like moving to
Toronto was the right call for him.
* The Sharks have played 14 of
their first 22 games at home. But they've been more impressive on the road. The
upcoming road trip could be a good thing for the team.
Paul at at firstname.lastname@example.org
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