Dan's Thought of the Day - 10/14/2013

Monday, 10.14.2013 / 12:00 PM PT
By Dan Rusanowsky - Sharks Broadcaster / Great White Bites
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Great White Bites

The Sharks are 5-0-0. Tomas Hertl has 7 goals. Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle are flying. Antti Niemi is looking solid in goal. It’s an easy league, eh?

The answer, of course, is no, and the Sharks are not acting as if the answer is yes. They will get a significant test this week. They’ll travel to St. Louis and Dallas in the next chapter of the 82 chapter book that is the 2013-14 NHL season. They’ll face the team that sent them home early in the spring of 2012. They’ll face the team that sent them home early in the spring of 2008, 2000, and 1998.

No, the lineups are not the same as they were in those years, not by a long shot. But the memories linger as life lessons, ones that this edition of the San Jose Sharks are determined to learn from in their quest to conquer the challenge of the Stanley Cup.

What we’ve seen so far from the season is a great combination of size, skill, speed, and depth, not to mention goaltending. It’s a group that has been prepared very well for the challenge. But the coaches will be the first to say that it’s only Chapters 6 and 7 of an 82 chapter book, with hopes of an extended four-chapter epilogue that will bring joy and glory to all those who follow this great sport.

I think that everyone is looking forward to St. Louis. The Blues are an excellent team that has been building toward its own parabolic trajectory of Cup contention. St. Louis has opened its season a perfect 4-0-0 for the first time in its history. Its top line, currently comprised of David Backes, T.J. Oshie, and Alex Steen, plays extremely well in all three zones, and the amazing thing is they have yet to trail in a game this season.

Of course, the Sharks had that exact situation against Ottawa on Saturday, and they not only embraced the challenge, they blasted through it with a determination that produced a power play goal by Patrick Marleau in the second period, a 23 shot barrage in the third, and a play by Joe Thornton to Brent Burns that was as powerful as it was artistic in its significance.

It’s fortunate that Coach Todd McLellan feels that rookie Tomas Hertl will be available on Tuesday. The 19-year-old is really lighting up the League, and yes, he’s going to get lots of attention, both physical and psychological. Similarly, a young player like Matt Nieto will be challenged to reach a new competitive level from each squad looking to be the best.

Isn’t life grand? We look forward to calling the action this week on the radio for you.



SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

PACIFIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
2 SJS 50 27 19 4 145 132 58
3 ANA 50 25 18 7 111 115 57
4 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
5 VAN 51 20 19 12 119 138 52
6 CGY 50 22 25 3 130 147 47
7 EDM 52 21 26 5 130 151 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 50 25 26 19 51
B. Burns 50 18 26 -10 44
J. Thornton 50 10 32 18 42
P. Marleau 50 15 17 -13 32
J. Ward 48 15 16 -7 31
M. Vlasic 47 7 20 13 27
T. Hertl 49 10 16 6 26
J. Donskoi 45 8 15 0 23
J. Braun 48 1 17 12 18
C. Tierney 48 6 10 -7 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Jones 24 14 3 .915 2.37
A. Stalock 3 5 1 .894 2.76
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