Off to a 4-0 start this year, the Sharks seemed primed to make a run at hockey’s Holy Grail once again this season. Unlike years past, however, this might be the year they can win it all.
For starters, this club has terrific veteran leadership that not only leads by example on the ice, but it is still very productive. For the Sharks, it all starts with team captain Joe Thornton.
Thornton has four assists in his first four games of the season and knowing the way Thornton has played his entire career, those numbers will only increase. The 34-year-old has great vision, soft hands and knows how to create offense on a nightly basis for his Sharks’ hockey club.
Speaking of veterans, Dan Boyle and Patrick Marleau are no slouches. Marleau already has four points with three goals and one assist while Boyle, like he has been for the last five seasons, continues to be the team’s best defenseman.
The Sharks also have the right mix of youth who are already producing at a high level this season. Rookie Tomas Hertl already has six goals and one assists for seven points while showing that he has the potential to be a very special player in this league.
Hertl’s teammates already think very highly of him and his play so far. In talking about Hertl’s hat trick in a 9-2 win over the New York Rangers, Thornton marveled at the 19-year-old’s offensive performance to the National Post.
The team also has the likes of Logan Couture (two goals and four assists for six points) and Joe Pavelski (five assists). At 24 and 29, respectively, Couture and Pavelski have shown that they have what it takes to lead the Sharks into the future and get the job done game in and game out.
“You don’t see that too often. That’s something I don’t have in my bag,” Sharks captain Joe Thornton told reporters after the game. “That was pretty. It’s been fun to watch him.”
When talking about the Sharks, one also cannot forget that they have a Cup-winning goaltender between the pipes in Antti Niemi. A Vezina Trophy finalist last season as the league’s top goaltender, Niemi is off to a great start with four wins, a 1.25 goals against average, and a .945 save percentage.
The season is still young but if the Sharks can play this way the entire season, they just might be able to do something they have never done before and that’s win a Cup.