Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sharks Clinch Spot

It took a shootout victory over the Minnesota Wild, but the San Jose Sharks have clinched their spot in the playoffs on Wednesday night. This is a team brimming with confidence at the moment and are certainly the hottest team in the Western Conference at the moment. They are a team you may want to truly consider having three players from in your Playoff Pool selections.

The team made some pretty key moves around the trade deadline to improve their squad and make them more win-worthy down the stretch. The addition of Brian Campbell (Dale C.) from Buffalo is definitely the most significant move that the team had made. He has given the Sharks a really good north/south puck moving presence from their own zone.

The other significant pick-up was the addition of Jody Shelley (non-pool). Although he isn't a big-time scoring forward, his size and strength was needed in the line-up to police the other teams when it comes to the star players.

Milan MichalekJoe ThorntonJonathan Cheechoo
Joe PavelskiPatrick MarleauMike Grier
Patrick RissmillerJeremy RoenickDevin Setoguchi
Jody ShelleyTorrey MitchellMarcel Goc
Ryan CloweTomas Plihal
Brian CampbellCraig Rivet
Christian EhrhoffMatt Carle
Marc-Eduoard VlasicKyle McLaren
Sandis OzolinshDoug Murray
Alexei Semenov
Evgeni Nabokov
Brian Boucher

The players who are tenatively scheduled to appear on the Selection Sheet (finalized on Saturday) are appearing in bold.

There is a fair bit of depth on this team, which obviously their strength. Although there isn't a handful of marquee defensemen on the team, the top six is nothing to sneeze at. Between their top line and their number one goalie, this team should match up to just about anyone in either conference. There really isn't anything to say that this team can't be the favourites from the West this season, but I'm sure the Sharks don't want the favourite tag placed upon them. They haven't been the greatest of teams when they've been touted as the better one going into the playoffs.

Will Nabokov be your starting Western Conference goalie through the playoffs?

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