When it comes to people talking about the best teams in the NHL this season, many will discuss the likes of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals, and a few others regardless of where each team is in the standings.
With that said, hockey fans need to start realizing that as of this writing the San Jose Sharks are the third best team in the league. Not only are they one of the top five clubs in the league, but they are currently leading the Pacific Division by one point over the surprising Calgary Flames.
Despite these facts, fans in the league would rather talk about teams like the Nashville Predators, Winnipeg Jets, St. Louis Blues, Chicago Blackhawks, and last year’s NHL darling, the Vegas Golden Knights. While all of the teams mentioned in this particular paragraph and the opening paragraph of this piece are all dangerous in terms of being Cup contenders this year, the Sharks really need to be put into that category this season.
After getting off to a slow start, they have rebounded in a big way and look like a team that can compete with anyone in the league. One of the main reasons for this is the fact that they can put the puck in the net with regularity.
As of this writing, the team is second in the league in goals scored with 249 goals in 69 games. If you’re a smart math person, then you know that the club is averaging close to four goals per game.
Offensively, the Sharks are one of the deepest teams in the league. The team currently has six players with at least 50 points, which makes them a tough team to match up with because of how their lines look.
Believe it or not, defenseman Brent Burns is the team’s leading scorer with 73 points on 13 goals and 60 assists. Year in and year out, all this guy does is put up points and play well defensively as he is a +16 on the year. Also not a bad guy to run the team’s power play, eh?
Following Burns are guys like Tomas Hertl (62 points), Logan Couture (62 points), Joe Pavelski (61 points), Timo Meier (58 points), and Evander Kane (51 points). That’s five of the team’s top six forwards that have over 50 points.
Speaking of putting up offensive numbers, the team’s power play has also been dynamite this season. As of this writing the team is fourth in the league with the man advantage as they have converted on about 25 percent of their power play chances.
With the man advantage, guys like Burns (25 points), Pavelski (20 points), and Erik Karlsson (20 points) have all been outstanding. When you have a solid group of forwards and guys like Burns and Karlsson manning the points, your team’s power play is going to be electric.
The team’s defense has also improved since the start of the season. The club is currently 15th in the league in goals allowed as they have given up 207 goals in 69 games, which means they are allowing three goals per game.
That may not seem great, but considering how they played at the beginning of the season, this number is quite good. Hopefully, their defense will continue to get better through the end of the regular season and into the playoffs.
This is an outstanding hockey team folks. They are deep at each position and when you put everything together, you have a team that could very well win a Cup this season.
It’s now up to the Sharks to hunt down their prey and win something that they have never won before and that’s hockey’s Holy Grail.