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Sharks 2014-15 Lineup & Fantasy Outlook

Friday, 08.29.2014 / 1:01 PM / News
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Sharks 2014-15 Lineup & Fantasy Outlook
A look at a potential lineup for the Sharks in 2014-15 as well as an outlook on the fantasy season.

Here is a potential look at what the 2014-15 Sharks lineup could look like:

FORWARDS

Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Matt Nieto
- Logan Couture - Patrick Marleau
Tommy Wingels
- James Sheppard - Freddie Hamilton
Mike Brown - Andrew Desjardins - Tyler Kennedy
John Scott
- Tye McGinn

2014-15 SHARKS FANTASY PREVIEW



Logan Couture -- Couture is the only player to eclipse 23-plus goals, a plus-20 rating or better and 200-plus shots on goal in 65 or fewer games played last season. He was tied for eighth among forwards with 68 blocked shots despite missing time with a hand injury. Joe Thornton is the No. 1 center, but Couture is a threat to post 30-plus goals, 60-plus points, 20-plus power-play points, a strong rating, and close to 300 shots on the second line with Patrick Marleau and Matt Nieto if he stays healthy.

Brent Burns -- Owners who drafted Burns in Yahoo leagues last season were able to reap the benefits of a defenseman-eligible fantasy player who played right wing next to Thornton, the League's second-best assist man. But the Sharks are moving Burns back to the blue line, which will make it difficult for him to match his career highs in goals (22), points (48) and shots (245) from last season. He has plenty of experience on D and will see a spike in power-play and overall ice time with the change, but expect the wear and tear of anchoring the back end in the tough Western Conference to limit his offensive production. Hold off on drafting him until the 11th or 12th round depending on how quickly defensemen go off the board.

Alex Stalock -- Goalie Antti Niemi, fresh off the worst postseason of his career, is in a contract year; his backup, Stalock, has been extended for two seasons. Niemi has been among the League's top 10 in regular-season wins in each of his four years with the Sharks, indicating he has a chance to bounce back. But they will give Stalock a chance to win the job if Niemi struggles, making Stalock a potential late-round steal. The 27-year-old ranked third in goals-against average (1.87) and save percentage (.932) among goalies with a minimum of 20 games in 2013-14. Niemi is a borderline top-10 fantasy goalie entering the season, but his owners absolutely must handcuff Stalock in late rounds as a safety net.

-- Follow Pete Jensen on Twitter: @NHLJensen

Joe Pavelski's place is the biggest puzzle piece. He played a lot of left wing on the top line last season with Thornton and Burns, and he also centered the third line. Burns has been moved back to defense, and if Hertl ends up on the top line then Pavelski could slide to the right side.

The Sharks might be better with Pavelski at center, especially against deep teams like the Kings. But without Burns, lack of depth on the wings might prevent that.

Raffi Torres is expected to miss a significant chunk of the season after knee surgery, so the Sharks are short another forward. Tyler Kennedy was buried on the depth chart by the end of last season but could be back in a regular role. Freddie Hamilton is the one young player up front after Hertl and Nieto who could be in for a big step forward.

Wilson and coach Todd McLellan also hinted there could be changes in playing time, so basing anything off the end of last season could be completely wrong.

DEFENSEMEN

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Jason Demers
Justin Braun
- Brent Burns
Scott Hannan
- Matt Irwin
Matt Tennyson

Marc-Edouard Vlasic is no longer one of the most underrated players in the League. After playing well for Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and with more acceptance of analytics in the sport, Vlasic now is considered one of the top defensemen in the NHL.

With Boyle gone, Burns will be expected to log a lot of minutes. Jason Demers and Justin Braun are solid, but a little step forward by either of them would help. Scott Hannan was brought back and could see a more regular role with Stuart gone.

Matt Irwin stepped in when Vlasic was hurt during the San Jose playoff collapse. Irwin, Matt Tennyson and maybe top prospect Mirco Mueller could be battling for the final two spots in the group.

GOALTENDERS

Antti Niemi
Alex Stalock

Antti Niemi had a great start to the 2013-14 but slowly unraveled. Alex Stalock saw more playing time near the end of the regular season and then earned a start in Game 6 against Los Angeles after Niemi had been pulled in consecutive games.

Stalock had nice numbers in a small sample last season but never really was great at lower levels. Niemi has a proven track record, but will the Sharks trust him after how last season ended?

It is possible there will be an even split of ice time early in 2014-15 with the hope that someone takes control of the starting job.

ALSO IN THE MIX: F Micheal Haley, F Travis Oleksuk, D Mirco Mueller, D Taylor Fedun, G Troy Grosenick

Author: Corey Masisak | NHL.com Staff Writer

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 48 32 10 6 143 124 70
2 NSH 46 31 10 5 141 107 67
3 STL 46 29 13 4 148 111 62
4 CHI 47 30 15 2 148 108 62
5 WPG 49 26 15 8 138 122 60
6 SJS 48 25 17 6 131 132 56
7 VAN 46 26 17 3 124 118 55
8 CGY 48 26 19 3 140 126 55
9 LAK 47 20 15 12 129 126 52
10 COL 49 20 18 11 128 141 51
11 DAL 47 21 19 7 146 154 49
12 MIN 47 21 20 6 130 138 48
13 ARI 47 16 25 6 108 160 38
14 EDM 48 12 27 9 110 160 33

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 48 24 18 10 42
L. Couture 48 18 24 2 42
J. Thornton 44 10 27 0 37
B. Burns 48 11 24 -6 35
P. Marleau 48 9 24 -10 33
T. Wingels 47 11 14 -2 25
J. Braun 47 1 18 4 19
T. Hertl 48 8 9 -2 17
M. Vlasic 47 6 10 13 16
J. Sheppard 42 4 9 -2 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 19 11 5 .912 2.57
A. Stalock 5 5 1 .905 2.65
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