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Shark Bite


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Been running my scouting report on the West, just for the fun of it. First the Jackets and Flames, today the Sharks.

Tough, tough team to figure out. Something always seems to be missing from this club, but with Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau Brent Burns Antti Niemi Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski and Dan Boyle this club will always be competitive.

A brave new move has been made by the team this year, Brent Burns, an offensive d-man with holes in his game is being moved to right wing to take advantage of his offensive acumen and hide his weaknesses.

The problem with the Sharks is and has always been its bottom six forwards. If Torres can avoid Shanny and if Havlat can for once stay healthy, the top three lines could look lke

Marleau Couture Havlat

Burns Thornton Torres

?????? Pavelski ?????

And that is the problem, the kryptonite bullet as it were, suspects like Andrew Desjardins, Tommy Hertl, Thomas Wingels will compete for third line duty with retreads like James sheppard and Tyler Kennedy. whoever doesn't stick on the third line will fill in the fourth, Kennedy has talent, nobody else on this team or in the organization really looks ready to step up at this time. The farm system is not bare but nobody is close to stepping in at an NHL level (Or for that matter AHL either)so what you see plus further desperation retreads lie Adam Burrish fill the roles.

Defensively the club is not bad, Boyle is still a great power play quarterback, Rugged Scott Hannan joins rugged Brad Stuart as nasty veterans with Jason Demers a talented young kid and the underrated Vlasic rounding out a talented roster.

Speaking of underrated, Antti Niemi is a top flight goalie who can steal games and even series come post season, and never seems to get his due.

Coach Todd Mclellan is solid, but his two year extension after sweeping the Canucks and then falling in the second round in a tough series to the Kings raised eyebrows.

The window is getting shorter for these guys as Boyle, Thornton Burns and Marleau continue to age, but these Sharks still have bite. I am not sold on the Burns to forward move but I understand it. If it works, three lines could be formed, if it does not and Havlat goes down again as usual two top lines could be forced to carry too much of the load again. solid club, likely playoff team and in the playoffs anything can happen but I am not convinced that they have enough to be anything other than a dangerous also ran.

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Not a whole lot in the proverbial cupboard in San Jose, huh? I know goals are tough to come by in this org, and there is not a lot of depth on the wings, but I still would have bought out Havlet. This guy just had surgery to repair is groin....again. He only has 2 years left, but that's 10 mill for a whole lot of pending injuries. Hertel has long been thought of as a world class talent, but not a lot after him. Maybe Dougies Hamiltons little brother Freddie will surprise and have a big camp. Even their elite talent like Pavelski and Marleau are very streaky types. This team is lucky it has Nemi, who's a pretty underrated goalie and keeps this team in the mix. I think they will miss Douglas Murray more than they think. Where it not for Couture, they would be void of any significant young stars.

Edited by jammer2
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  • 2 weeks later...

Doug Wilson recently did a radio interview which hinted at a Torres/Pavelski/Havlat third line. I cannot say for sure if they will try to keep Hertl at center, or move him to wing(Assuming he has a good camp). He apparently plays all 3 forward positions very well.

They love to spread the scoring out and I do not like the idea of kennedy on the first line soooo.

Kennedy-Thornton-Burns (Interested to see how well Burns scores)



Desjardsins - Sheppard - Wingels


Burns is the guy who has me wondering. he was playing as a power forward, with a very unorthodox style and great skating as always. He scored 9 goals and 11 assists in 23 games at forward(17pts at ES). Not bad considering he is not used to the position.

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