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Why the Sharks Will Win the Stanley Cup

Monday, 04.29.2013 / 1:10 PM / News
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Why the Sharks Will Win the Stanley Cup
The San Jose Sharks have shown this season they can play as well as any team in the NHL.

The San Jose Sharks have shown this season they can play as well as any team in the NHL.

They started with seven straight wins in January and had another seven-game winning streak span late March and early April. They never lost more than two games in a row in regulation.

If they can put together more of those scorching hot streaks than their moderately cold ones during the next two months, they will win their first Stanley Cup.


It would help immensely if they can get into a home-ice position during the run: San Jose went 17-2-5 at HP Pavilion.

Goaltender Antti Niemi won a Stanley Cup for the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010, and the Sharks called on him in almost every game of the second half. He started 24 in a row.

Niemi had a 24-15 career playoff record before last season's five-game ouster.

The Sharks have won at least one playoff round in six of the past eight years, which means they have other players (and a coach) with significant postseason experience.

Todd McLellan knows he can count on Dan Boyle, Logan Couture, Jason Demers, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton, all looking to change the perception of the Sharks (and them) being not-quite-good-enough. Plus, this team has the vast Stanley Cup-winning experience of Larry Robinson on its staff.

San Jose was manhandled by the Chicago Blackhawks this season (who wasn't?), losing all three games and outscored 11-5 during an 11-day cold streak in February.

But the Sharks have a 13-6-2 record against the rest of the Western field, 3-0-0 against their first-round opponent, the Vancouver Canucks.

Ideally, the Sharks will have a first-round clinching game at home, can somehow avoid the Blackhawks in the second round, then find a way to win a conference finals series for the first time.

If they are on one of their patented hot streaks this season, it certainly can be done.

Author: Mike Battaglino | NHL.com Staff Writer

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 64 41 16 7 192 155 89
2 ANA 64 40 17 7 189 177 87
3 STL 63 40 18 5 197 159 85
4 CHI 64 38 21 5 188 152 81
5 WPG 64 32 20 12 179 172 76
6 VAN 62 36 23 3 180 167 75
7 MIN 62 33 22 7 176 161 73
8 CGY 62 33 25 4 175 160 70
9 LAK 62 29 21 12 166 162 70
10 SJS 64 31 25 8 179 181 70
11 COL 63 27 25 11 167 182 65
12 DAL 63 27 26 10 196 210 64
13 ARI 63 20 36 7 138 214 47
14 EDM 63 18 35 10 143 208 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 64 32 27 12 59
L. Couture 64 21 33 0 54
J. Thornton 60 12 41 -2 53
B. Burns 64 16 31 -3 47
P. Marleau 64 15 31 -16 46
T. Wingels 57 13 16 -3 29
T. Hertl 64 10 15 -1 25
J. Braun 53 1 19 3 20
M. Vlasic 59 7 12 11 19
M. Nieto 54 4 13 -10 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 24 17 7 .912 2.62
A. Stalock 6 7 1 .904 2.66
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