avatar Written by Scott on Monday, June 22nd, 2020

The final team from California that didn’t qualify for this year’s version of the playoffs is the San Jose Sharks. And of all the teams, not just from California, that didn’t make the postseason the Sharks have to be the most surprising.

The have a talented team with stars throughout the line up but this years team just came up short after making the postseason in the 4 seasons leading up to this one. And they made the playoffs in the 10 seasons before that. So this franchise isn’t used to being on the outside looking in.

San Jose Sharks

The Sharks played 70 games and went 29-36-5 and had 63 points. The season before this one they went all the way to game 6 of the Western Conference Finals.

The Sharks were hurt by the salary cap this season. The signed Erik Karlsson to a huge contract worth about 11 million per season. That left them with very little room to add anything else. They had to let captain Joe Pavelski walk as well as depth guys Gustav Nyquist and Joonas Donskoi. On top of the salary cap issues the were hit by the injury bug too. Karlsson broke his thumb which ended his season, Logan Couture fractured his ankle and Tomas Hertl also went down.

At forward they still have Couture, Evander Kane and Kevin Labanc, who is due for a raise after taking a paycut last year. They also need to figure out what to do with Joe Thornton. He wanted to be traded to a contender which didn’t happen. If he does resign he’s a 41 year old player so they can’t expect too much from him and I’m not sure if he has any value in being a trade piece to acquire some future help.

On defense is where this team shines. They have arguably the best top 3 in the league with Brent Burns, Karlsson and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Those three can carry this team from the backend and can fill the rest of the spots with lesser talent as they are that good. They have Ryan Merkley who put up great numbers in junior but there is questions about his character which may cause some issues but he has potential.

Besides their injury problems and cap issues the biggest problem for the Sharks has been their goaltending. Martin Jones had the worst goals saved above average per 60 minutes. Last season he was was second last. He hasn’t had a decent year in a while and his backup Aaron Dell wasn’t any better. They have no money to sign someone else so they may be forced to go with Jones again.

They have work to do. But a healthy Couture, Hertl and Kane, who is personally one of my favorites in the league, are going to be counted on to carry this team offensively and they will be fine on defense but again its in goal where this team is going to struggle. I expect them to have a better season next year as long as they stay healthy.




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BetNHL.ca » Tonights Tips » June 22nd, 2020 San Jose Sharks