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GO CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
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The Sharks could go undefeated this season and I wouldn't give a ****. They are still going to blow it in the playoffs and all will be right in the world.
The Sharks and Hawks both look great but it's early. Last night's game against the Canucks was frustrating for a Canucks fan because I am not sure if it's just early in their case. I think they hit their peak a few years ago and aren't going to get any better. Meanwhile superior teams like the Hawks and Sharks find ways to improve.
Really not that surprising. With major injuries and inconsistency it's hard not view a team with forward depth of Thornton, Marleau, Clowe, Havlat, Pavelski, Clowe and others not getting off solidly. Niemi looks pretty good. Corey Crawford being as stout as he is makes me regret not having him in my keeper league :P
Rachel Zane: You're a sneaky little boy.
Also here's the Sharks status since Thornton:
2006- Second Round Appearance (6-5 post season record)
2007-Second Round Appearance (6-5 post season record)
2008- Second Round Appearance (6-7 post season record)
2009- First Round Appearance (2-4 post season record)
2010- Third Round Appearance (8-7 post season record)
2011 Third Round Appearance (9-9 post season record)
2012 First Round Appearnce (1-4 post season record)
Like, they havn't won the Cup but you've gotten out of the first round in 5 of the last 7 rounds, thats pretty successful. They just can't seem to get over the hump. A lot of that is luck/bad luck and poor play the wrong time than some fundamental flaw.
Thornton steps his game up during the playoffs. If you want to point fingers, point them at Marleau and Heatley in the past. Thornton is a guy I would love to have lead my team in the playoffs despite him never getting to the Finals. Dude does everything.
Can't really blame Heatley. He was only their for 2 years and was PPG for one of the runs (though less goal scoring). Marleau has been good some years too.
Just can't get everything going at once like you need for a Cup run
Also, if you take the years you listed, here is their place in the conference...
Coming into this season, it seemed to me that they missed their window. Maybe last year was just a down year, time will tell. Obviously, they are off to a great start, and maybe that will change my opinion.