The San Jose Sharks are still Stanley Cup contenders, but with an aging roster, their Stanley Cup window is quickly starting to close.
The San Jose Sharks have been a model of consistency of winning during the regular season. They’ve had a point percentage of at least 60% in four of the seven seasons since the start of the 2012-13 season. In an additional year, the Sharks had a 59.8% point percentage. Unfortunately, their regular-season success hasn’t translated to the postseason.
Last season, the Sharks came darn close to reversing the trend. Through some questionable calls and miraculous plays, they overcame multiple obstacles to make it to the Western Conference Final against the St. Louis Blues. Unfortunately, they fell short in six games.
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And unfortunately, the Sharks likely blew their best chance of winning the Stanley Cup for a while. With an aging roster, San Jose’s roster is starting to look vulnerable. They lost their captain Joe Pavelski and due to salary cap issues, the Sharks were unable to replace what he brings to the table.
Still, they were a very strong possession team last year and they were one of the best regular-season teams despite getting abysmal goaltending. The 2017-18 Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup a year after everyone thought they were done. Could the Sharks do the same?
Added: Jonny Brodzinski, Trevor Carrick, Dalton Prout
Lost: Justin Braun, Rourke Chartier, Joonas Donskoi, Michael Haley, Gustav Nyqvist, Joe Pavelski, Joakim Ryan, Kyle Wood
The Sharks last quite a few players this summer. Obviously, Pavelski is the biggest blow. Losing a captain is never easy. Pavelski had a career season last year and the Sharks are going to struggle to replace his consistent goal scoring and playmaking.
Donskoi’s a bigger loss than most people think. His production isn’t too impressive, but he drove play as a top-nine forward. Combine that with the loss of Nyquist (who would have helped offset the loss of Pavelski) and the Sharks are down three top-nine forwards.