Cleat Geeks

San Jose Sharks: 2015-16 Season Projection

2014-2015 Overall Record: 40-33-9 (89 Points) 12th in the Western Conference

***Did Not Make the NHL Playoffs***

SHARKS TEAM LEADERS

San Jose Sharks: 2014-2015 Team Leaders

Notable Offseason Losses:

G Antti Niemi (New Team: Dallas Stars)

D Taylor Fedun (New Team: Vancouver Canucks)

D Matt Irwin (New Team: Boston Bruins)

F John Scott (New Team: Arizona Coyotes)

D Scott Hannan (Free Agent)

Notable Offseason Acquisitions:

D Paul Martin (Former Team: Pittsburgh Penguins)

F Joel Ward (Former Team: Washington Capitals)

G Martin Jones (Former Team: Los Angeles Kings)

D Mark Cundari (Former Team: Calgary Flames)

Main Team Stats Breakdown:

GFA (Goals For Average): 2.70 (NHL Ranking: 15th)

GAA (Goals Against Average): 2.72 (NHL Ranking: 24th)

SV% (Save Percentage): .907 (NHL Ranking: 24th)

Experts contend that San Jose might just turn it around this upcoming season, though with the lack of off-season acquisitions and a new coach at the helm, I beg to differ. Last season marked the first time in 10 seasons that the San Jose Sharks missed the Playoffs. Looking at last season is quite telling as to why they missed the Playoffs. While players like Joe Pavelski (70 points), Logan Couture (67 points), Joe Thornton (65 points) and Brent Burns (60 points) had very productive outputs, there were too many other issues.

Thomas Hertl failed immensely from what was projected of him before the start of last season with only 31 points in 82 games last season. Hertl had 25 points in just 37 games the year before in his rookie season. Patrick Marleau was an even greater disappointment last season, as he was only able to tally 57 points. If you look at his previous production, he simply fell short after attaining the lucrative contract he had been seeking.

JoeThortonLooking cumulatively at the San Jose Sharks and many of their top performers, this is team past its prime. Joe Thornton is 36, though he looks like he has a few years left in him as his point production remains consistent. Patrick Marleau will be 36 in a few days and appears to be showing his age. Newly acquired, Joel Ward, will be 35 in early December. Though he should help the Sharks, time is running out for this veteran as well. Even Joe Pavelski is past his prime (in NHL regards) at age 31.

Add an unproven backup goalie in Martin Jones, (who appears to have an admirable upside) a lack of leadership (especially after publicly ripping the ‘C’ off of Thorton before the start of last season) and a new coach (Peter DeBoer); there isn’t much room for optimism. Doug Wilson is going to have to revamp this team. Obviously it didn’t occur this season, so I wouldn’t expect much for the next one. While I don’t see San Jose being bottom feeders in the league as a whole, they surely don’t appear to have what it takes to compete for a Playoff spot in a very deep Western Conference.

2015-2016 Season Projection: 6th in the Pacific Division

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