Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Good Start

With 41 points out of a possible 48, the San Jose Sharks are the leading team in the NHL with a little more than a quarter of the regular season complete. SJ had a good season last year but disappointed mightily in the playoffs. Why are they the toast of hockeyworld thus far?
1. Coach Todd McLellan's emphasis on putting the puck on the net-- as opposed to Ron Wilson's more deliberate style. The team plays faster and freer now. McLellan brought a Red Wings approach with him from Detroit and it's made a big difference.
2. The addition of Boyle and Blake have added tremendously to the defense. Boucher has been a reliable backup for Nabokov too, and McLellan has given Evgeni far more time off than Wilson did last season.
3. The emergence of Setoguchi as a scorer, along with the expected great play from Thornton and Marleau.
After last night's defeat of the Coyotes, the Sharks 7th straight victory, the team is at 20-3-1.
Sharks fans are expecting a cup run. But, there's still a very long way to go.