Sharks Gameday: A Bold New World



7:30 PST
0-0-0, 0 points 0-0-0, 0 points
T-6th in Western Conference T-6th in Western Conference
98.5 KFOX,
Five For Howling
Ice Chips

...a new fintastic point of view, no one to criticize Jumbo Joe, or ask where is Clowe, or say we're only dreaming.

Unbelievable fights, indescribable DW fleecings. Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling, through an endless diamond defenseman sky,

A bold newww worldddddd...

1) Joe Pavelski leads the Sharks in goals during the 2011-2012 season. Coming off a season that saw him log a shooting percentage well below his career average, log third minute center duties, and still manage to finish first on the Sharks in shots with 282, Pavelski gets placed on the top line alongside Joe Thornton, quickly falls in love with the reduced responsibility of playing wing compared to his usual center role, and finishes the season with more goals than any Sharks player on the roster.

2) The San Jose Sharks help to end the increasing issue of commercial courtesans in downtown San Jose, but then cause a spike in activity mere minutes later. With a rough economy and an elimination of the Vice Unit having some adverse effects on the streets of San Jose, the Sharks tight defensive game and rugged determination in the defensive zone seemingly ends the era of the red light district. Unfortunately, an influx of goals does little to help the situation; as the red lights flicker off and on, confusion reigns and the streets see chaos.

3) Thomas Greiss plays himself onto a full-time role with the team by the time Antero Niittymaki gets healthy. After a disappointing season abroad, Greiss makes a triumphant return to the NHL, helping to backstop the team during a rough start to the year from starting netminder Antti Niemi. With Al Stalock's injury healing at a superhuman rate (Stalock Saves himself this time, but rest assured he still plans to cure twice as much leprosy next offseason) and the Worcester Sharks receiving quality goaltending from Tomas Heemskerk, Harri Sateri, and Tyson Sexsmith in the AHL, the increased defensive acumen of the Sharks blueline complements Greiss' sometimes erratic and always aggressive style perfectly.

4) Joe Thornton finds himself in the Selke conversation for the first time in his career. Jumbo Joe starts where he finished last season. He leads the League in takeaways, sees his point totals return to a point per game, and does it all against the toughest competition amongst Sharks forwards.

5) Brent Burns is mediocre defensively throughout the year, but his defenseman-leading point totals and partner Marc-Edouard make those concerns somewhat irrelevant. Despite some rather glaring errors in his own end, Burns gets better and better defensively throughout the 2011-2012 season and sets the tone for what will be a Norris caliber campaign in 2012-2013.

6) Dany Heatley scores 35 goals in Minnesota while Havlat bounces in and out of the lineup with various bumps and bruises. After being traded from his third team throughout his career, Heatley takes a newfound passion in his offseason training regiment, enters the season on a tear, and proceeds to light the lamp with frequency alongside supremely underrated centerman Mikko Koivu. Havlat is an extremely effective part of the Sharks lineup when healthy, his speed meshing well with Couture and Clowe en route to a 21 goal season, but nagging injuries cause him to play 61 games throughout the year.

7) Despite the best Sharks roster in the history of the franchise, San Jose has to clinch the Pacific on the final week of the regular season. A Kings team blessed with health all season long doesn't slow down in November like they did last season, and various injuries to the Sharks top six throughout the year put pressure on their scoring depth. Backed by the goaltending tandem of Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier, Los Angeles goes toe to toe with San Jose the entire year. It all leads to a home and home in the season's final weekend, where the Sharks manage to get three points and clinch their fifth Pacific Division title in a row.

8) Vlasic continues to go unnoticed across the League, and I continue to use the term "underrated" to describe him in order to childishly illuminate my "excellent" analytical skills. I come off looking like an egocentric hipster in the process, drinking a 6 pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon every night while listening to whatever Pitchfork says I should listen to in order to dull the pain.

9) Jamie McGinn scores 6 goals during the year and we write a post like this after every single one of them.

10) The Sharks roar out of the gate, hit a midseason lull in mid December through early January, pick it up again only to run into difficulty during a 7 game road trip in February, but put the finishing touches on a 108 point season by catching fire all through the month of March. This is ultra specific so you know it's going to be right on the money.
*Disclaimer: Fear The Fin does not endorse, nor recognize, these predictions unless they come to fruition. If half of them come true, I will cherry pick the results and publish an article lauding my accomplishments later in the season.

Prediction: Sharks win 4-1. Goals by Pavelski, Burns, Couture, and Mitchell.