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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 ANA 35 22 8 5 101 96 49
2 CHI 34 23 9 2 106 67 48
3 STL 33 21 9 3 100 81 45
4 NSH 31 21 8 2 87 64 44
5 SJS 34 19 11 4 97 87 42
6 WPG 34 17 10 7 83 80 41
7 VAN 32 19 11 2 92 90 40
8 LAK 34 17 11 6 94 84 40
9 CGY 35 17 15 3 100 95 37
10 MIN 31 16 12 3 91 84 35
11 DAL 32 14 13 5 95 109 33
12 COL 33 12 13 8 85 101 32
13 ARI 32 11 17 4 74 104 26
14 EDM 34 7 20 7 74 116 21

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
L. Couture 34 13 16 4 29
J. Thornton 34 8 21 2 29
J. Pavelski 34 15 13 5 28
P. Marleau 34 7 20 -1 27
B. Burns 34 10 16 -2 26
T. Wingels 34 9 14 1 23
T. Hertl 34 7 7 -3 14
J. Braun 34 1 12 7 13
M. Vlasic 33 4 6 12 10
J. Sheppard 28 4 6 0 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Stalock 4 3 1 .926 2.12
A. Niemi 14 7 3 .917 2.42
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