Despite the disappointing lack of Sharks hockey to cover, 2012 was a pretty exciting year here at Fear The Fin. We had a (mostly) bloodless transfer of power from the great Plank and Taylor to the far-less-great yours truly, incredible analytical pieces and playoff projections from SnarkSD, unparalleled coverage of the Worcester Sharks and San Jose State Spartans by Jons Allred and Wold to fill the NHL void and phenomenally well-researched roster history details from Ann. Here's a decidedly incomplete list of the best articles published on Fear The Fin in the past year, in no particular order.
Worcester Watch by Jon Allred
It's impossible to pick just one of Jon's recaps but the awesome work he's done in bringing us the best Worcester Sharks coverage on the internet is extremely appreciated, especially during the lockout.
Spartan Crash Course by jwizzle241
Ditto Jon Wold and his brilliant coverage of SJSU Spartans hockey.
Sharks Defeat Kings 6-5 In The Shootout; And Now A Brief Message from Niclas Wallin by Mr. Plank
It's only fitting that the most exciting game of the season received the greatest post-game recap of all time.
Genesis of the 2012-13 Sharks Roster by mymclife
We still haven't seen this roster in its entirety take the ice but at least we now know, in extraordinary detail, exactly how it came to be.
Playoff Probabilities: Applying Score-Adjusted Fenwick% by SnarkSD
Using the score-adjusted shot differential metric developed by Broad Street Hockey's Eric T., resident FTF stat whiz SnarkSD was able to correctly predict 15 of 16 playoff teams as early as January.
Who were the best Sharks between lockouts? by The Neutral
In a year that was mostly comprised by one disappointment after another for Sharks fans, it was fun to look back at the good old days.
Expectation vs. Reality: A look at an inaccurate label Patrick Marleau has carried his entire career by SnarkSD
In maybe the best article in FTF history, Snark demolished the popularly held opinion that Marleau disappears for long stretches or is a notoriously streaky scorer. Next time you're embroiled in a super important internet debate about Marleau, feel free to point your opponent to this article.
2012 SB Nation Mock Draft: Fear The Fin Selects Tomas Hertl With No. 17 Pick by The Neutral
This wasn't a particularly insightful or well-written piece but I included it for the sheer hilarity of us somehow getting something right. Reader evilducks' prescient comment says it all: "Awesome player that can't skate? He might as well get a Sharks tattoo now, this is where he’ll end up…"
Anatomy of a Losing Streak by Mr. Plank
The Sharks' extended losing streak that sent them tumbling down the standings was perhaps the biggest on-ice story of the season. On March 6th, while in the eye of the hurricane, Jason looked at what was going wrong.
What Went Wrong? An Autopsy Of The 2011-2012 Losing Streak by SnarkSD
After the season was over, Snark did the same, including a detailed look at individual player performance during the streak.
Joe Thornton's Quietly Exceptional Season by The Neutral
Most probably disagree but I still think 2011-12 might have been Thornton's best season as a San Jose Shark, even better than his Art Ross and Hart-winning campaign. I made that argument early in the year while taking a look at Jumbo's transformation from one-dimensional scorer to two-way threat.
Scoring Chances: Sharks v. Blues Series Totals by The Neutral
After tracking every scoring opportunity generated from a dangerous area of the ice by both teams during the Sharks' first round series loss to St. Louis, I compiled all the data in this handy post.
And finally, the best article of the year...
UFAs of the Day: Plank and TCY (Thanks For The Memories, Fear The Fin) by FTF Staff
Jason and Matt unfortunately rode off into the sunset but left behind a memorable goodbye. Here's hoping they pull a Peter Forsberg and make a comeback in the new year.
From everyone here at Fear The Fin, thanks to our readers for sticking around through this awful lockout. Goc willing, we'll be back to covering Sharks hockey soon after the start of the new year. We hope it's a great one for you and your family.