Western Conference Outlook: San Jose Sharks


We continue our take on each Western Conference team with a look at the San Jose Sharks.

In case you missed it, we took a look at the Minnesota Wild and predicted how the Predators will fare against them next season here.

The Sharks A Year Ago

The Sharks and the Predators played one another three-times last season with the Predators sweeping the season series with a record of 3-0-0. Nashville outscored San Jose 9 to 4 during the three-game season series and all three-games were won Pekka Rinne-less. Carter Hutton took two-games from the Sharks while Marek Mazanec solidified three-points for the Predators in his start against the Sharks.

Roman Josi averaged a goal a game against the Sharks last season with three, while Shea Weber lead the season series in the points category with four.

San Jose’s regular season points leader was Joe Pavelski with 41-goals and 38-assists for 79-points in 82-games played. Not far behind Pavelski was thirty-five-year old Joe Thornton with 11-goals and 65-assists. Thornton finished second in the NHL in the assists category behind Sidney Crosby who had 68-assists.

The most important number to take note of from the San Jose Sharks last season was 82. In regards to the Sharks “Big Three” (Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton, and Patrick Marleau) who’s average age is 33-years-old, did not miss one regular season game; each played a full 82-game season.

San Jose solidified themselves as the number-four team in the Western Conference standings and the number-two team in the Pacific Division last season.The Predators may have swept the season series, but the Sharks found themselves in the Stanley Cup Playoffs at season’s end while the Predators were on the outside looking in.

The Sharks faced-off against the Los Angeles Kings in the firs-round of the playoffs, and looked really good for the first three-games; then things quickly went downhill.

The Sharks outscored the Kings 17 to 8 through the first three-games of the series and found themselves up three-games to zero and in a commanding spot headed into game number four; then, the Kings decided they had other plans.

The Kings flipped the script and won the next four-games to win the series with a scoring-margin of 18 to 5, spoiling the Sharks playoff-dreams and later going on to win the Stanley Cup.

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Sharks Off-Season Moves

The Sharks so far have been one of the most quiet teams in the NHL this off-season when looking at free-agent acquisitions and trades.

The Sharks only additions this off-season have been former Buffalo Sabres forward John Scott and former Philadelphia Flyers forward Tye McGinn. Neither McGinn or Scott seem to be major additions to the Sharks system.

The Sharks, while being quiet in the additions category, did lose a few players that could be missed next season.

The Sharks parted ways with forward Martin Havlat who had 22-points in 44-games  last year for the Sharks and also veteran defensemen Dan Boyle and Brad Stuart.

There have been rumors for most of the off-season surrounding the Sharks and their captain Joe Thornton possibly being dealt elsewhere. Some rumors, going as far back as the NHL Draft, also contain speculation on Patrick Marleau as a player who could also be out in San Jose. These rumors for the most part have cooled down a bit, but no one really knows what is in the mind of San Jose’s general manager, Doug Wilson, who has kept it no secret the Sharks are in a rebuild phase.

Both Thornton and Marleau have no trade clauses in their current contracts.

If Doug Wilson was wanting a rebuilding type off-season, he has not made the type of moves to perhaps keep San Jose fans confident for this upcoming season. Do the Sharks make a move/moves in the very near future?

Predators Predictions Against The Sharks

Please remember these predictions are not to be taken too seriously, simply on the fact that the Predators have so many new faces and a new head coach this season; no one really knows what to expect from the Predators this upcoming season.

The Predators visit San Jose twice next season and welcome the Sharks to Nashville only once.

The first meeting comes in San Jose at the tail-end of a Predators West Coast trip in mid-December. This December 13 meeting is one I see the Predators taking the win back to Nashville via an overtime winner. I think this game has a Shea Weber slap-shot, overtime-winner, written all over it.

The middle game of the three-game season series is at Bridgestone Arena, where I think the Predators play much better at this upcoming season. With that being said, the Predators take three-points from the Sharks behind stellar play in net from Pekka Rinne.

The final game of the season series comes on March 12 in San Jose, and I think this may be the one loss the Predators suffer from the Sharks next season. The Predators can’t sweep the regular season series against the Sharks two seasons in a row can they?

Our prediction is a 2-1-0 record for the Predators against the San Jose Sharks next season.

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