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 San Jose Sharks 2010/11 Season Preview

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SJSharks12_FTW
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PostSubject: San Jose Sharks 2010/11 Season Preview   Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:11 am

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"Ten to go, Boyle with a shot, knocked down by Madden. Another try, knocked down by Keith. Madden without a stick, doesn't matter, Hawks to the finals!" Those were last words of NBC's NHL announcer Mike Emrick, as the last ten seconds of the San Jose Sharks season dwindled down to 0.00, in Game 4 of the 09/10 Western Conference Finals, losing 4-2 to the Chicago Blackhawks. Once again, leaving Shark fans with postseason nightmares for the 3rd straight year. Fans became extremely frustrated and weary with the consistancy of the Sharks playoff efforts. After the series loss to Chicago, all fingers pointed to one man, Sharks goaltender for the past 10 years, Evgeni Nabokov. With no argument between Shark fans and hockey analysts worldwide, Nabby needed to step up this postseason, which he had failed to do in previous attempts. It has always been a hard for everyone to understand why Nabby, who has been top 5 goaltender in the NHL in the regular season statistic whise for the past couple of years, to then go into the post season and to basically look like a no-show.
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Even though most of the blame has been put on Nabokov, the defense got under the radar a little bit, as most fans didn't notice that the San Jose defenders really were not doing much for the former Sharks veteren goalie. The biggest fault in the Sharks defense, one word: Screens. Countless times in the postseason, Nabokov was blinded by his own defensemen, leaving him voulnerable to being scored on. It wasn't bad enough that the Sharks defense was blinding Nabokov, but they also failed to stop the opposing teams in the post season from screening Nabby many many times. Perfect example: Dustin Byfuglien. Byfuglien broke down the San Jose defense and made it look easy. Though Jonathan Toews won MVP of the Stanley Cup, without Byfuglien, they don't make it. Byfuglien had the biggest impact against the Sharks, as well as Antti Niemi who played sensational between the pipes. Byfuglien had 4 G, 1 in each game, but more importantly 3 GWG, and most of the goals, of course, were done in the way that the Sharks defenders were failing to step up against, Byfuglien getting in front of Nabby and being physical, shrugging off San Jose defenders as if the Blackhawks were playing against the 92/93 Sharks team (who had appauling record of 11-70-2). As always, the Sharks had a great regular season going 51-20-11 with 113, had a huge signing in Dany Heatley, Joe Thorton finshed 4th in the league in points, and the Sharks golden boy, Patrick Marleau set career highs scoring 44 G with 83 PTS. All this is expected in San Jose, but none of that matters if they don't bring Lord Stanley to Northern California. As the playoffs ended, the regular season was in the back of everyones mind in San Jose, and everyone was thinking about the heart shattering moment, and the man who killed the Sharks Stanley Cup hopes for a 3rd straight year sending tears all around Northern Cali, Dustin Byfuglien.

Coming into the off-season lots of questions needed to be answered, and fast. Would the Sharks have Nabokov come back for another season and risk another post season failure, what was the future of Sharks stars Patrick Marleau & Joe Pavelski contracts, who produced a heavy amount of the Sharks playoff production, is Mclellan the right coach for San Jose, which free agents would be re-signed, is DW going to make the smart decisions GM's should, and besides the 1st line defense, who is going to step up and help out!!!!! These questions and more were answered fast, the biggest topic, the San Jose Sharks traded veteran goaltender Evgeni Nabokovs rights to the Philadelphia Flyers, after 10 seasons with his beloved team, and signs with St. Petersburg in the KHL. Mixed emotions surronded the organization and the San Jose fan base, which is no surprise, as he was loved as New Jersey does Martin Brodeur, or Vancouver does Roberto Luongo.

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But that's just business, and what the organization felt was right to do, life isn't fair, as San Jose faithfuls learned who all knew and loved Nabby. As depression loomed over Shark fans, excitment abruptly took over as San Jose re-signed both the star forwards in Joe Pavelski, who came up huge in the playoffs and delivered an epic round 1 post season performance against the Colorado Avalanche along side line mates Devin Setoguchi and Ryan Clowe, signing a 4-year $4 million contract, as well as the Sharks golden boy, who has amazed and entertained Shark fans for his entire 12 year career with the organization, also signing a 4-year contract worth $6.9M. Many articles were posted saying, the Sharks could not survive without Patrick Marleau who is the heart and soul of the team. The excitment of this news was so overwellming, that a majority of fans forgot about the loss of Evgeni Nabokov, until a little over a week later, for the first time in ten years, the Sharks signed a goaltender to replace thier beloved Nabby in Finnish goaltending star, Antero Niittymaki, who had just completed his sixth NHL season posting a 21-18-5 record, .909 save percentage and 2.87 goals against average with Tampa Bay. In 210 career games, Niittymaki has an 83-79-28 record with a 2.98 goals against average, .903 save percentage and five shutouts. He won a career high 23 games in 05/06 with the Flyers and his .912 save percentage in 08/09 with Philadelphia was his best for a full season. But, when he put on that jersey to represent his home country in Finland is where he shined leading his native country to the Gold Medal game at the 2006 Olympics and being named MVP of the Olympics as well as the tournaments Best Goaltender. Fans and players can on;y hope that nothing but good things will come from Antero Niittymaki. The Sharks also re-signed center, Scott Nichol, and right defensemen, Nicholas Wallin, both 1-year deals. One of the surprises was the Sharks not re-signing one of the best faceoff men in the NHL, Manny Malhotra, who received a better offer from the Vancouver Canucks. Though his faceoff numbers were amazing, and he did contribute to the team in many occasions, the organization must move on. Going back to the defensive stand point, the Sharks looked into Blackhawk defensemen, Niklas Hjalmarsson. The offer was for four years for a total of $14 million. Unfortunatley, the Blackhawks matched San Jose's offer and re-signed him. Just recently, San Jose finally came to terms with 2nd line star, Devin Setoguchi, signing a 1-year $1.8M contract, which is clearly good news as he and that 2nd line helped pull out the post season series victory against the Avs. As the re-signs are pretty much done with, the Sharks look to strengthen their defense by trading for Maple Leaf's defensive star from the Czech Republic, Tomas Kaberle, in exchange for Sharks 2nd line forward, Ryan Clowe. This would be a huge defensive step for the San Jose Sharks if they can acquire Kaberle, which Tampa Bay is also looking very much into the situation. The other prospect the Sharks are looking into is the former star goaltender for the Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks, who played above and beyond what was expected, allowing only 58 goals out of 645 shots, and a .910 SV% in the 09/10 post season. This would obviously be a great acquisition for San Jose, to make it easier on Antero Nittymaki, and German goaltender, Thomas Griess.

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As the crazy off-season for San Jose is coming to a close, the regular season approaches in less than 2 months, and the anticipation for the 10/11 season for the brand spankin new look San Jose Sharks is like no other before it. The roster questions have been answered, now it's time to walk the walk, no more excuses, now is not the time to choke as the Sharks open the season against the Columbus Blue Jackets and their young explosive goaltender, Steve Mason in the showdown in Stockholm. Shark fans grow hungrier for a cup than ever, viewing this seasons team as, the now or never San Jose Sharks. Rumors of riots are spreading rapidly around San Jose if the Sharks aren't successful this year. Long time fan of the San Jose Sharks Evan Wetterstroem who has followed the team for over 11 years was asked on 8/15/2010, what he thought of the upcoming season. "Four simple words: "WE. WANT. THE. CUP!!!!!" NHL 11 OSHL IS SHARKS TERRITORY

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TomCobain
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PostSubject: Re: San Jose Sharks 2010/11 Season Preview   Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:17 am

Awesome post!

Plus:
The shark tank looks amazing!
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leafsfan54
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PostSubject: Re: San Jose Sharks 2010/11 Season Preview   Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:55 am

Wow Great Preview! Good Job!
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HockeyMediaPlus
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PostSubject: Re: San Jose Sharks 2010/11 Season Preview   Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:55 am

Holy Post.. Everyone give him a + LOL
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PostSubject: Re: San Jose Sharks 2010/11 Season Preview   Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:08 pm

great post bro you put alot in to it
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PostSubject: Re: San Jose Sharks 2010/11 Season Preview   Thu Nov 25, 2010 5:40 am

Hey man, Just letting you know that your spot is still reserved. I need to know how long until you get your ps3 fixed.
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