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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 NSH 63 41 15 7 191 151 89
2 ANA 63 39 17 7 186 176 85
3 STL 62 40 18 4 192 153 84
4 CHI 63 37 21 5 183 150 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 62 33 22 7 176 161 73
8 LAK 61 29 20 12 164 157 70
9 CGY 62 33 25 4 175 160 70
10 SJS 63 30 25 8 175 181 68
11 COL 63 27 25 11 167 182 65
12 DAL 62 27 25 10 195 207 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 63 31 26 12 57
L. Couture 63 21 32 0 53
J. Thornton 59 12 40 -2 52
B. Burns 63 16 30 -4 46
P. Marleau 63 14 31 -16 45
T. Wingels 56 13 15 -5 28
T. Hertl 63 10 14 -3 24
J. Braun 52 1 19 2 20
M. Vlasic 58 7 11 10 18
M. Nieto 53 4 13 -10 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 24 17 7 .912 2.62
A. Stalock 5 7 1 .899 2.85
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