San Jose Sharks: 3 Keys To Winning The Stanley Cup In 2018
The San Jose Sharks are expected to be a Stanley Cup contender in 2018, but they need to conquer a few challenges in order to do so.
1. Avoid Inconsistency
The Sharks would act as a roller coaster ride as they would struggle to win more than two games in a row. On several occasions, the Sharks would win two in a row, then lose two in a row.
They didn’t win more than three games consecutively until March. In that month, San Jose tore up the ice as they went on an eight-game winning streak. The Sharks need to find consistency in order to get a higher seed in the 2019 playoffs.
2. Goaltending Must be Lockdown
San Jose’s Martin Jones must improve in the net. I understand that defenses breakdown against high-level skill players, but the blame can’t always be placed on them. Jones has to continue to get better.
In the 2018 four-game playoff series versus the Anaheim Ducks, Jones didn’t allow more than four goals. Against the Vegas Golden Knights, Jones gave up 18 goals in six games.
If the Sharks want to get through the Western Conference then they need a strong defense and knockout performances from goaltenders. Jones was ranked the 17th best goalie in the NHL last season, statistically.
Fellow Shark and goalie, Aaron Dell ranked 21st in the league. On average, Dell allowed 2.64 goals per game in 2017. He only gave up 2 goals a game the previous season.
3. Ride Waves Of Best Players
It’s important for the San Jose Sharks to rely on guys who have the numbers to back up their style of play. Center Logan Couture posted 34 goals and 61 points last year. Joe Pavelski had 22 goals and got his teammates involved with 44 assists.
Brent Burns packs a punch on San Jose’s defense. The 33-year old drilled for 67 points, including 55 assists last season. The Sharks recently acquired Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson. The defender tallied 53 assists and nine goals in 2017. If the San Jose Sharks can utilize the playmakers and playoff tested players that are on this team, then they should be able to make some noise this season.
It will be important for the Sharks to play consistently, defend the net and make sure their standout performers are getting opportunities to score. If these things can happen, they should win Lord Stanley’s Cup.