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San Jose Sharks

San Jose Sharks Play King Of The Hill…Again

San Jose SharksHere we are again. The San Jose Sharks are officially at the top of the NHL with 28 points. Patrick Marleau is tied with Alex Ovechkin for 2nd in the NHL in points (23) and is 5th in the league with 11 goals. Evgeni Nabokov is 5th in the NHL with a .925 save percentage, 4th in goals against average (2.14) and tied with Craig Anderson for 1st with 11 wins. Joe Thornton leads the league in assists with 18. And the kicker is that they’ve amassed these accomplishments spending approximately two-thirds of the time on the road.

Some of us didn’t want to be here. Some of us wanted to be a normal, hard working hockey team that didn’t lead the league in anything. All we wanted was to head into the playoffs with a full head of steam and a sense of urgency never seen before in Sharkland. But here we are, back on top again (queue up the sad violins).

Okay so it’s still fun being a winner!

I don’t know about you but the mood of the team seems different this year. Last year the team was all smiles, it was all about how much the team trusted each other and it looked like a lot of fun being a San Jose Shark. In retrospect you might say the boys were a little aloof, maybe reading too many of their own press clippings. This year it’s been a much quieter ascent with more of sense of appreciation for the work involved in getting those wins. Luckily memories are not short in San Jose and everyone I talk to is acutely aware of how none of this matters in April. If we remember it, you gotta hope the players do.

A few weeks ago Drew Remenda was interviewed by a Canadian radio station and XM Radio happened to be carrying the broadcast. One of the things he said is that last year there were players on the team that dragged other guys down during the Anaheim series. I don’t know about you but I never heard him say anything close to that here in the US. If that’s true then hopefully all the guys let go this past summer will add up to addition by subtraction. So far this year I’ve really enjoy watching the third and fourth lines far more than I did in years past. Last year there were times where I felt ho-hum unless Thornton, Marleau and Devin Setoguchi were on the ice. This year the entire bench brings a different, contributing element to the game - giving the Sharks an much different team identity than last year.

The one thing I enjoy watching more than anything else is the support that Jody Shelly is gettin. Although a tough guy absolutely, Shelly isn’t the toughest guy in the NHL. Other teams did manage to get Shelly either in the box for extended periods of time or off the ice with game misconducts. That left the Sharks relatively toothless. This year teams have to deal with Shelly, Brad Staubitz and Scott Nichol. It really nice to have some nice depth in the ‘put a hurt on them’ department.

At this point I feel like the Sharks are absolutely a better team than last. The top lines are much better with the addition of Dany Heatley and the bottom lines are much grittier and much more skilled. What do you think, is this team better than last?

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6 comments for “San Jose Sharks Play King Of The Hill…Again”

  1. I think they’re better, with plenty of room for improvement. But they need to cultivate that “less than” feeling until they prove something in the playoffs. Not sure what’s going on with Clowe - he isn’t right. On the other hand - Nichol is a real shot in the arm - not sure if he intimidates anyone at 5′7″ 175 lbs, but the guy hustles and makes things happen. Also has second best faceoff win % in the NHL!

    Posted by Son of OTNo Gravatar | November 11, 2009, 5:51 pm
  2. Regarding Nichol - I’m 5′9″ 210lbs and I intimidate people, but not intentionally and usually in a negative way.

    Posted by sharksfanNo Gravatar | November 11, 2009, 5:54 pm
  3. Because he’s a little crazy (with a history of certain suspension worthy hits)- but he ain’t anywhere near 210. Like he said last night - he makes up for less natural ability by working harder.

    Posted by Son of OTNo Gravatar | November 11, 2009, 10:11 pm
  4. I think they’re better, but I hope for you it’s enough to make a good playoffs run… the sharks seems too lose their game each spring

    Posted by B.chandlerNo Gravatar | November 12, 2009, 6:00 am
  5. Remenda needs to stick with things he has knowledge of, which is not much. Who dragged who down? Is he in the locker room? Does he know what goes on between periods? I’m sure he only had positive things to say about the Sharks that are no longer with the team. The players he was most critical of was Patty, Nabby and Joe. What is he saying about them now?

    Shelly will again have a maintenance day and will be out of the line-up. I wish Frazer McLaren would get recalled. He seems to be the next Jody Shelly. There are a lot of guys that can drop the gloves for the Sharks, but I would not include Scott Nichol as one of them. Next to Shelly and Staubitz, the next willing combatants are McLaren, Murray, Clowe and Thornton.

    Hey Shark Fan. I remember a few weeks ago you wrote about resigning Patty to a contract before he becomes a UFA. What about Nabby? Do we try and resign him? Doubt we can keep both.


    Posted by FC Sharks FanNo Gravatar | November 12, 2009, 1:56 pm
  6. Posted by sharksfanNo Gravatar | November 12, 2009, 3:33 pm

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