For the first time since the 2010-2011 season, the San Jose Sharks have made it to the Conference Finals. Their opponent this time? The St. Louis Blues. So, if you’re not a fan of the Blues chances are you’re rooting for the Sharks, but how can you root for a team you know nothing about? Well have no fear, new fans, because I’m here to give you the essentials to root for this Sharks team. These stats are all from these past two playoff series.
Here are a few essentials to being a Sharks fan:
- We hate the Kings and Ducks. They are our rivals and we love seeing them lose. Especially LA.
- During these next few games, watch Joe Thorntons passing skills. You will be amazed at the accuracy he has and some of the plays he makes.
- Keep an eye out for how the depth players are doing. The bottom six are pretty reliable and can get some good scoring chances.
- Joel Ward has a history of being clutch in the playoffs. Keep an eye on his this series.
- We beat the Kings 4-1 in round and the Predators 4-3 in round 2.
Also, you should know that the Sharks big name players are playing great these playoffs:
- Center Logan Couture leads the league this post-season with 17 points, 11 of which came in last series seven games against the Nashville Predators.
- Captain Joe Pavelski is tied with the Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov for first in goals, at nine.
- Brent Burns has 11 assists, most in the NHL and is tied for second in points at 15.
- In the last four games, Joe Thornton has one goal and five assists for a total of six points.
- Marc-Edouard Vlasic, the Sharks top defense-man has eight points and a plus-7 rating.
- Veteran Patrick Marleau, who struggled during most of the regular season, is finding his name on the score sheet once again. In the last three games, he has two goals and two assists.
But not only are the big guns playing well, the Sharks depth players have also been performing well:
- Rookie sensation Joonas Donskoi has seven points in his first post-season with a plus-2 rating. Know who else had seven points but a worse plus/minus? Veteran Justin Williams, who had a minus-3. Also, elite defenseman Shea Weber, who finished the playoffs with a minus-7.
- Third line center Chris Tierney has two goals and an assist in his past three games.
The new guys that San Jose GM Doug Wilson acquired in the off-season are paying dividends too:
- Goaltender Martin Jones is 8-4 in his first post-season as a starter. He has one shut-out, a 2.16 GAA and a .918 SV%. It’s important to remember that he went up against the Los Angeles Kings too, making these stats even more impressive.
- Joel Ward, now playing RW on the third line, has been having himself quite a playoff run. He has two goals and five assists. That doesn’t seem crazy, but his play has come in clutch plenty of times. Last night, he scored a very important insurance goal to put the Sharks up 2-0. It was on a breakaway too. He also jumpstarted a third period San Jose comeback in game 1. Down 0-1, Joal Ward got a primary assist on the game tying goal, then minutes later scored to put the Sharks up. They ended up winning 5-2.
Also, the Sharks power-play is really good. In last night’s game 7 win, they went 2-for-3 and finished the series 8-for-21 on the man advantage. That’s 38.1%. They only had one game, game 3, where they didn’t score a PP goal.
Here were the Sharks lines from last night’s game, along with their numbers, and how they’ll probably look in game 1 against the Blues.
Tomas Hertl (48) – Joe Thornton (19) – Joe Pavelski (8)
Patrick Marleau (12) – Logan Couture (39) – Joonas Donskoi (27)
Melker Karlsson (68) – Chris Tierney (50) – Joel Ward (42)
Dainius Zubrus (9) – Nick Spaling (16) – Tommy Wingels (57)
Marc-Edouard Vlasic (44)- Justin Braun (61)
Paul Martin (7) – Brent Burns (88)
Brenden Dillon (4) – Roman Polak (46)
Martin Jones (31)
James Reimer (34)
Now you’re all set to hop on the Sharks bandwagon and maybe even stick with the team. Whether you stay with us or hop off if they go down in the series, welcome to the Teal Army, it’s good to have you.
*Header courtesy of fresh-news-now.com