It’s easy to be optimistic at the start of a new campaign and earning a decisive 5-1 victory against your chief rival, as the Sharks did last night with their 5-1 win over Los Angeles, only adds to that.
New Sharks captain Joe Pavelski demonstrated as much above as he talked about the team’s “different energy” and that the Sharks “understand we’re close.” Is that optimism justified though?
Certainly you can point to reasons why this season might be different for San Jose. With Pavelski wearing the ‘C’ and Peter DeBoer now behind the bench, the Sharks might have a different culture, which Logan Couture classified in April as “not great.”
They also bolstered their defense over the summer by inking Paul Martin while newcomer Martin Jones had a solid Sharks debut between the pipes. If the latter in particular has a strong season then it will go a long way towards making San Jose a serious contender again.
That being said, nothing has been proven yet. San Jose started the 2014-15 campaign with back-to-back shutouts and three straight wins, but still missed the playoffs. One decisive win against Los Angeles doesn’t necessarily mean much of anything. The Sharks in particular know that all too well given how their 2014 first round series went.