Brandon McMillan (#64) gets pushed by Niclas Wallin (#7) of the San Jose Sharks

A Look into the Pacific Division: San Jose Sharks

Finishing up the look at all of the other teams in the Pacific Division takes us to the hated San Jose Sharks. They shook up their roster but remain a top team in the West. Beware Ducks fans, in the following post; I will almost praise the talent on this Sharks roster.

Losses:

– Dany Heatley: Time ran out on the 30-year-olds tenure in San Jose. His lack of speed had become noticeable and battled injuries last season while slumping to only 26 goals. He was shipped off to the Minnesota Wild.

- Devin Setoguchi: Shipped off to the Minnesota Wild like Heatley, the 24-year-old was traded on draft night. He has scored 20+ goals the past two seasons but still shows plenty of offensive upside.

Gained:

- Brent Burns: Acquired over the offseason in the Setoguchi deal, Burns brings some much needed offensive help for Dan Boyle on the point. Burns is poised to have a career year as he is now with a much better team than what he had in Minnesota.

- Martin Havlat: Acquired over the offseason for Dany Heatley, Martin Havlat may not be as good of a scorer but is much faster and a much better playmaker than Heatley. He will be placed on either of the top two lines for the Sharks.

- Michal Handzus: A free agent signing, Handzus brings in good size and skill. Most importantly, he brings in much needed help in the puck possession game with his excellent faceoff ability.

Overview:

The Sharks won the Pacific Division for the fourth straight year and reached the Western Conference Finals for the second straight year in 2010-2011. However, the years of division titles and conference finals trips are starting to get a little old for Sharks fans. They need to take the next step soon, and they could very well do it this upcoming season. This may pain Ducks fans to here this but I really like the moves that the Sharks made this year, and I think this might be their best chance to reach the Cup Finals ever. They have possibly one of the most dangerous offenses in the entire league. Joe Thornton is still one of the best playmakers in the entire league and Patrick Marleau is as good of a scorer as anyone in the league, 119 goals the past three seasons. Ryane Clowe will be coming off of a career year and Joe Pavelski can be counted on for plenty of offensive production. The rookie phenomenon Logan Couture will continue to get better and now with Havlat, this front is scary. The defense will be improved with the addition of Brent Burns, especially on the power play where he can unleash his booming slap shot. GM Doug Wilson is looking for more than just a division title and a trip to the conference finals. Anything less than a Stanley Cup berth/win could be seen as a failure this upcoming season and the clock could be ticking on some of these veterans chances to bring a cup to Northern California.

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