What a difference a year makes

2015-16 had a much better result than the 2014-15 season.  46-30-6 compared to 40-30-9.  So a six win improvement.

Last summer, it was noted that the basic additions of Paul Martin, Joel Ward and Martin Jones would only “add” about 3 wins per WAR.  Can the emergence of Donskoi account for the rest?  Probably not, but it definitely was a team effort to get the additional six wins.

In the chart, one can see wins and losses by goal differential for the regular season. The team seemed to be alternating some periods of wins and losses until the biggest positive differential in January.  Most folks have set this as the start of the Sharks’ season turn around.  After that period, it definitely had more wins than losses.  Pundits have attributed this to the Sharks finally “getting” DeBoer’s system and playing well together.

Whatever the cause, the Shark did make the playoffs and made it to the Stanley Cup Finals.  And even though they had four more wins than they’d ever had in the playoffs, they still came two wins short of winning the Cup. (And they are the envy of twenty-eight other teams.)

How’d I do on guessing last season’s opening roster?  Pretty good. Donskoi kinda replaced Torres in the lineup, but Goodrow essentially spent the season in the AHL. Smith followed soon after, replaced by Zubrus.

The Sharks did exceed most pundits’ predictions (of them not even making playoffs).  One even was surprised (still in August 2016) they had exceeded expectations by going as far as they did.  (Amazingly, so many pundit predictions are so far off from reality, either way, that it can be laughable, or sorrowfilled.)

How will 2016-17 go?  There’s 30 days until camp starts and 39 (Logan Couture!) days until the puck drops.  A lot to watch with injuries (from World Cup, exhibition games and camp) and chemistry between players to help determine the season opening roster.  (But I’ve penciled in Dell for backup duty and Meier among the NHL forward lines.  And put a few guys from the 15-16 NHL roster on my “gotta-watch-out-or-will-end-up-in-AHL” list too.  Competition will be keen.)

News flash: Hertl won’t play at the World Cup tournament for Czech Republic as he’s still recovering for knee injury he suffered in Stanley Cup Finals, but expected to be ready for NHL season start.

Sharks @ World Cup of Hockey

Well, it’s about a month until the first preseason exhibition game.

But first, there’s the World Cup of Hockey (in Toronto), broadcast on ESPN/2. The preliminary round starts September 20, with the final (best of three) on September 27, 29 and October 1 (if needed).

And yes, there are a few Sharks participating.

  • USA: Joe Pavelski (rumored to be named the captain)
  • Canada: Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Brent Burns, Joe Thornton, Logan Couture (injury replacement)
  • Czech Republic: Tomas Hertl; Milan Michalek (alum), Roman Polak (alum)
  • Finland: Joonas Donskoi
  • Team Europe: Mikkel Boedker, Christian Ehrhoff (Germany, alum), Thomas Greiss (Germany, alum)
  • No Sharks: Team North America, Sweden, Russia

ESPN even has put together a “All Snub” team (including Sharks goalie Martin Jones) that would be pretty good, if playing.

Players will be heading to their respected “country” team’s training camp, opening up on September 5.

Some of players have begun skating in preparation for the World Cup training camps.  (And joining other players in town early to prepare for their respective NHL and/or AHL training camps.)  Players in San Jose participating in the “Captain’s Skate” the past two weeks have included: Pavelski, Burns, Thornton; Ryan Carpenter, Nikolay Goldobin, Michael Haley, Patrick Marleau, Mirco Mueller.  (Plus former Junior Shark Igor Leonenko — invited to NHL St Louis Blues rookie camp, NJ Devil Jon Merrill; and former Sharks Daniel Winnik, Devin Setoguchi, Sena Acolaste.)

Rookie camps will open about September 15.  NHL (full) camps should be opening about September 22.

Time to make sure your jersey (or whatever your wear) to games is ready for the upcoming season.

Still, more time to wait until the puck drops (Vlasic sleeps until season opener).

Update: Hertl opted out of participation to further heal his knee.

Sharks/Barracuda news for week ending 150829

Highlights: Sharks sign McLaren, announce hiring of Spott as assistant coach. Former Shark Garpenlov named assistant coach for Team Sweden, World Cup of Hockey. Former Shark Rissmiller named NJD development coach. AHL and Barracuda schedule releasing Thursday morning (10am PT). NBC Sports/PHT season preview. And a few other articles of interest.

(The Puck Daddy Sharks A-Z article was so filled with errata, I refuse to link it.)

SJ Sharks

SJ Mercury News

CSN Sharks

NBC Sports


Waterloo Record: Spott reunites with DeBoer with San Jose Sharks
Very nice feature article

SportsXchange: Sharks name ex-Leafs coach Steve Spott an assistant

USA Today: NHL Western Conference: Why your favorite team won’t win the Stanley Cup

IIHF: Gronberg to coach Sweden
Former Shark Johan Garpenlov named one of assistant coaches

New Jersey Devils: Patrick Rissmiller named development coach
Former Shark.  Congrats.


Puck Daddy/Yahoo Sports: Pacific Division: Still the worst in the NHL? (Trending Topics)

Toronto Star: Steve Spott using tough year with Leafs as learning experience

OHL: DeBoer and Spott reunited in San Jose

SJ Barracuda