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It was a good year
Things looked good from Jan to Dec
1/1/15 - By Ryan Hall -

Well, here we are at the start of another year. With 2014 in the rear view mirror, it's time to stop and look back at what that year meant to the San Jose Shark's. While there still is no championship ring on the fingers of Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and Joe Pavelski, it still was another dominant season for the boys in teal.

What do I mean?

Well, take a look at these stats:

From January 1 through until the end of December, the Sharks posted an impressive 47-25-8 record in regular season games. Or to put it another way they racked up 100 points in an 80 game span.

That's a pretty blistering pace!

In fact, when you compare those results to numbers posted by several other top teams (and one who had great year last season - Colorado), you get further confirmation that San Jose was a regular season juggernaut in 2014.

Anaheim: 49-21-9 (107 points in 79 games)

Boston 47-22-11 (105 points in 80 games)

Tampa Bay 47-26-9 (103 points in 82 games)

Pittsburgh 45-21-11 (101 points in 77 games)

Montreal 47-25-6 (100 points in 78 games)

San Jose 47-25-8 (100 points in 80 games)

St. Louis 47-28-5 (99 points in 80 games)

Chicago 43-24-10 (96 points in 77 games)

Colorado 42-25-11 (96 points in 79)

Los Angeles 39-28-12 (90 points in 79 games)

So, what does this all mean?

If you go strictly by the numbers, the Sharks once again were a Top 5 team in the NHL, trailing only Anaheim in total wins, and holding their own against the best in the league. While management often bears the brunt of the fanbase's ire, it can't be overlooked that the team on the ice wins; and they do so consistently. At the very least that is deserving of recognition and praise.

Now, does any of this really mean much without a championship banner or two hanging from the rafters of the SAP center? Many people would say no, as the reason you play is to win the Stanley Cup. And there is a certain argument to be said for only viewing things in that light.

However, maybe part of that is born from a spoilt attitude that is the product of the Sharks being so good for so long. It's almost become expected that they will put up gaudy numbers during the regular season, which places the entire club - and us fans - in a bad position: namely we are never really happy. When they win games, they are only doing what we expect of them. If they lose, then changes need to be made because they can't even live up to the basic demands placed on them.

Now, I know most of us would trade all the President's Trophies, Pacific Division Championship banners, and individual statistics for a single Stanley Cup parade in mid-June. Truthfully, the players would do so as well. And that's good, it shows all eyes are still on the bigger prize.

Still, isn't there room to appreciate what we have, while still hoping for something more? The plain truth is that for the better part of a decade the San Jose Sharks have been an elite team in the NHL, and Top 5 in almost every measurable statistic. That deserves to be celebrated. That is something we as fans of this club need to stop and enjoy.

You see, as 29 other teams will tell you, the good times don't last forever; in fact for some of them the good times hardly ever come at all (see: Florida, Long Island, Columbus, Edmonton, etc.) The day will come - maybe soon, maybe in a couple seasons - where the Sharks are going to take a step backwards. When that happens, it will be easier to put into perspective the true measure of how good they have been for such an extended period of time.

Rather than wait until those days are behind us to celebrate them, why don't we stop and enjoy it now? Realizing we have a good thing isn't the same as wearing teal coloured glasses, or letting anyone off the hook. It isn't saying that no Stanley Cups is okay. It's just realizing that we are a lucky fanbase; and a way of saying thank-you for the great hockey we watched in 2014.

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