Wednesday, August 23, 2006
If Roloson doesn't stone Cheechoo in OT in Game three then its my guess that the Sharks would have represented the West in the Stanley Cup and maybe they would be defending Cup champs right now.
Two seasons ago they made the conference final and fell just short.
After shedding a bunch of veterans in the lockout year the Sharks started slowly last season until Doug Wilson picked up some guy named Thornton.
Now, I'm not sold on Joe Thornton as a big game player and trading Tom Preissing may hurt short term but damn, this team is good.
And I know I myself said that making predictions now is a fool's game but barring catastrophe this has to be the preseason Cup favourite.
Deep up front already, they added Mark Bell who will probably score thirty five now that he plays for a real team. And Mike Grier and Curtis Brown will kill penalties and add to that depth at forward.
The games aren't won on paper but this team is deep at every position. They are a little young on D but can add a veteran if necessary because they aren't even at 37M for the cap - if they dump Nabakov's 5M then they have all the room in the world. They also happen to be the youngest team in the league, meaning they are a few years away from having to pay a lot of these guys anything. It won't be until two seasons from now when Thornton and Marleau will both be UFA that the crunch may come for this team.
But with depth at every position including goal and having proven in the second half of last season that the kids are alright they only have that last step to take.
The Oilers kicked the shit out of them last season.
Maybe they don't have what it takes.
But if I were a betting man I'd say that in the next two years, barring disaster, Patty Marleau will be hoisting the Cup.
Posted by Black Dog at 9:15 AM