Tonight marks the start of the San Jose Sharks 21st season, since their inauguration back in 1991. In those twenty years, they've made the NHL playoffs fourteen times... including seven years straight.
But none of that matters... because year in and year out... we just can't seem to get over that hump.
Will this be the year we finally get past the Conference Finals? I'm not here to make any daring predictions. Instead, I'll just point out some things that are dancing around in my head.
A. For the first time in four seasons, Devin Setoguchi won't be my favorite Shark. I'm still recovering from the trade that sent Seto to the Minnesota Wild for Brent Burns. I was so excited when I discovered that the Sharks drafted a half-Japanese player back in the 2005 NHL Draft. Then in October 2007, when he made his NHL debut against the Dallas Stars, he lit them up for two goals and he instantly became my favorite Shark. But I'm loyal to the team, not the player... so I accept the fact that the Sharks pulled off this trade. And there's no doubt in my mind that the team is stronger with Burns than with Setoguchi. Best of luck Devin! I'll be pulling for you... just not when you're against the Sharks.
B. Without Setoguchi... I needed to choose another favorite player. Yes... I'm one of those guys. So after much debate it came down to two players: Douglas Murray & Patrick Marleau. I started liking Murray because he's always there to back up his teammates. The guy is tough, hard working, and loyal. And I appreciate all of those traits. Then there's Patty. Marleau has been with the Sharks since they drafted him back in 1997. He holds nearly every significant record for the San Jose Sharks. And like Murray, the guy has been loyal to the organization. Even when some of the fans lost faith in him, he resigned with the Sharks and has proven that he's worth his salary. If it were up to me, he'd be a San Jose Shark for life.
C. I'm excited to see how much we've improved defensively. When completely healthy, the Sharks should have more than enough fire power to get the puck into the net.
Line 1: Marleau/Thornton/Pavelski
Line 2: Couture/Clowe/Havlat
Line 3: McGinn/Handzus/Mitchell
Line 4: McLaren/Murray/Wingels/Winchester/Desjardins
And this season, their defensive pairings are much improved:
Dan Boyle/Douglas Murray
Brent Burns/Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Colin White/Jason Demers (James Vandermeer)
D. The final thing that's on my mind is finding tickets to the November 10th game, when they take on Devin Setoguchi and the Minnesota Wild. At the moment, I'm not able to find any tickets at reasonable prices.
But I'm hoping I'll be able to find some the week of the game, so I can sport my BlackArmor #16 jersey.
Okay. So I have to know...
Who do you have making the Stanley Cup Finals?
And who's going to win it all?
For the past four or five seasons, I've felt it in my heart that it was going to be the Sharks' year. And we all know how that went. Once again, I have that feeling. I'm just hoping that I'm finally right.
Okay it's time to eat and get ready to watch the Sharks take on the Coyotes. Sayonara!