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San Jose Sharks

Just How Good Are The San Jose Sharks?

sharksfan The San Jose Sharks are off to their best start in franchise history. They’re atop the league in points (26), 5th in goals scored (3.25/game) and 5th in goals allowed (2.38/game). But just how good are the Sharks?

Consider this, even though their 13-3-0 record is their best start ever, the Sharks 26 points is only 4 points better than during the 2006-2007 campaign (22 points through 16 games). Also during that season the Sharks finished with 107 points. During the 2007-2008 campaign the Sharks only had 16 points though 16 games but ended up with 108 points.

This Sharks team has passed some early season benchmarks - beating the Pittsburgh Penguins, beating the Detroit Red Wings, beating the Dallas Stars and splitting with the Anaheim Ducks. The true test of just how good this team is not something you can see on the schedule. My friend Tom reminded me that the true test will be to see how the team responds when they hit that losing streak, be it losing something like 5 in a row or some slump like losing 7 out of 10.

No one has ever questioned the Sharks’ talent, instead it’s always been about focus - can they respond to adversity. In playoffs of past, the answer has been ‘no, not exactly’. It looks like, except for some special teams work, the team has settled into the new Todd McLellan system ahead of the 30 game curve. From now on we watch and wait for those signs of whether or not the team has gotten a handle on just what it takes to be a champion.

UPDATE: I just found a nice evaluation of the 16-game start on http://battleofcalifornia.blogspot.com.

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