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Seeing the upside in Sharks’ 2013 campaign

May 29, 2013, 9:04 AM EDT

Logan Couture Getty Images

The San Jose Sharks have made it to the playoffs for nine consecutive seasons and failed to even to the Stanley Cup finals, much less win it all.

In the history of the NHL, there has only been 10 stretches of regular season success that were longer, but also failed to result in winning the Stanley Cup, according to CSN Bay Area.

The Sharks have shown a commitment to winning the Stanley Cup and have sought out players and coaches who have already enjoyed postseason success.

So far that hasn’t produced the desired result. Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau have been two cornerstones of this franchise for years, but they will be 34 by the time the 2013-14 campaign begins. So is their window of opportunity almost over?

Not necessary. In fact, characterizing them as an aging team would be a bit disingenuous. Goaltender Antti Niemi, forward Joe Pavelski, and blueliner/forward Brent Burns are all in their prime while Logan Couture, 24, has established himself as one of the game’s rising stars.

In addition, they have some talented prospects under the organization’s control, most notably 19-year-old forward Tomas Hertl, who might make his NHL debut next season.

Maybe that’s why, at the end of a roller coaster campaign, the Sharks can look back and reflect on the positive instead of seeing this just as the latest in a chain of playoff exits without a Stanley Cup.

“We’re in transition a little bit as an organization with some of the moves we made, but I thought the way they banded together and played for each other and with each other was exceptional,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan told CSN Bay Area.

“It was a really positive sign for our organization, not only for the playoffs, but moving forward. It’s not about one or two guys. It’s about the group as a whole, and they accepted that, and we have something to build on moving forward.”

  1. sjsharks66 - May 29, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    T Mac has to go.

    • mrpinkca - May 29, 2013 at 11:46 AM

      For what? Not spiking Jonathan Quick’s water bottle?

      • sjslapshot22 - May 29, 2013 at 11:55 AM

        This is not T Mac’s fault. Not trying to make excuses for the Sharks or anything but the officiating was absolutely atrocious throughout this series and any other series in the NHL. Especially the Raffi Torres BS suspension. It just went more in favor of the kings which is unfortunate.

      • imleftcoast - May 29, 2013 at 2:19 PM

        Torres played great against Vancouver, and could have made the difference in the series.

  2. hosewater2 - May 29, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Just don’t think the Sharks or any team can win it all with Jumbo Joe as #1 centre and captain. Couture will be an awesome captain when it’s his turn.

    • desertfan - May 29, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      JT was 100% in this round- not enough support.

      • hosewater2 - May 29, 2013 at 1:08 PM

        Not talking about stats, but character. If he was gonna win big based on his individual performance he would have done it by now, not at 34.

  3. sjsharks66 - May 29, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    This style of hockey he has does not work in the playoffs. Dump and change then play defense. Get tired out and repeat. The Sharks are a big team, they never want to use their bodies. Loo at Boston in 2011.. The man handled the Canucks because they used their size. The kings did the same thing in 2012 and this year.
    It is time to switch things up.

    Everyone is so quick to get rid of Jumbo and Patty but not T Mac? Thats ridiculous.

  4. cdalton2690 - May 29, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    I don’t think T Mac is the problem, he is a very good coach. I think the sharks need to get some younger power forwards to start replacing Jumbo and Patty. Burns is a good example in my opinion he plays big and isn’t afraid to throw his weight around. Jumbo and Patty are older and cant play that way anymore. I think they can still use both players especially Jumbo the way he played in game 4. Some minor changes could give this team the edge they need. However they do need to start grooming players to replace Jumbo Patty and Boyle. Need to reload not wait and rebuild.

  5. johnwwt1976 - May 29, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    Thornton was there #2 centre this year, Couture was there #1, watch the games or just don’t post

  6. thewaytonever - May 29, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    there is no way we need to ditch TMac. Wilson needs to go along with the scouting department. I don’t see how you want to run a coach off for being a consistant playoff contender. maybe trading jumbo and it patty would light a fire under this team. but I feel like those guys think they are safe no matter what. jumbo was awful in game 7. yeah he win some faceoffs but was very lazy other than that.

  7. johnwwt1976 - May 29, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    Jumbo was dominate this whole post season, lead the team in scoring against LA and there team was quoted saying they needed to stop Joe and that he was eating them alive!!

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