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January 22, 2011

Sharks Start Streak At The Perfect Time

The San Jose Sharks typically don’t get a ton of press. The reasons are obvious. First of all, they are in California, a place that has not traditionally been a hockey hot bed. Second of all, they do not have a Sidney Crosby or an Alexander Ovechin to dazzle the crowd night after night. While the Sharks may not have all these two hockey elements working for them, they do have a few great hockey elements in their corner. The number one thing the Sharks have going for them is a late season winning streak.

There is no doubt that it has been a strange season for the Sharks. At one point in the season they must have been praying for road trips because they were just not winning at home. Another oddity was the lack of scoring that the Sharks faced early on in the season. With all of the offensive talent that they have, everyone was wondering why they were not scoring more. For a while there, it looked like the Sharks were not going to be a post season factor. However, after winning nine games in a row, the Sharks seem to be on a roll at the right time of the season. As the season winds down and the playoffs loom in the very near future, this is the time to be winning and building team confidence and momentum. While other teams falter and lose momentum, the Sharks seem to be paving the road to a great post season.

So what is fueling the Sharks success? Well, for one, they have the underrated Evgeni Nabakov who has played in 66 games this season. With good strong consistent goaltending being at a premium these days, the Sharks are one of the few teams that have their goaltending absolutely figured out. There is no wondering about whom the number one goaltender is or any drama about who is going to be in net. The coaches never have to scramble and question if Nabokov is going to be able to start or not. Game after game, you will find him standing in the Sharks’ net without any expression, ready to handle whatever comes his way. Win or lose, Nabokov stands tall.

The Sharks have not had any one player picking up the slack, instead the team has decided band together and improve their season and standing. While Cheechoo, Thornton and Marleau have not had great individual seasons, their successes have increased over the past few weeks. Another thing that the Sharks have going for them is that they have a collection of hardworking guys who may not score often but always come to play.

While the Sharks have not had the best all around season they are playing very well when it counts. Some of the teams that glided through the first half of the season are now having struggles that bring their ability to be successful in the playoffs into question. The Sharks have surged up in the standings and are poised to make a great playoff run.

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