The San Jose Sharks are systematically rolling right now, and despite an occasional bump in the road, they are looking like the National Hockey League's best team so far in this 2013-14 regular season.
That may not last, of course, and June is a long ways away -- they do not award the Stanley Cup in October, after all.
But it's hard to argue with the above assessment right now, especially when the Sharks hold the best record in the NHL and the best goal-scoring differential as well.
San Jose has 19 points and a +25 scoring mark now, after a 2-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on the road Saturday night. The Sharks are 5-0 at home and 4-1-1 on the road, and they have a two-point lead in the Pacific Division standings over the Vancouver Canucks.
In the new NHL world after realignment, the top three teams in each of the league's four divisions automatically earns a playoff spot -- which is something to keep in mind, as all any team has to do now is finish high in its division to make the postseason.
Prior to this change, the three-division format in each conference only guaranteed the division winner a chance to hoist the Cup.
After four straight division titles from 2008-2011, the Sharks haven't finished lower than third in the Pacific since 2003, which was the last time San Jose didn't make the postseason.
In fact, since 1997, the Sharks have made the playoffs every year but that one, despite finishing fourth in the division in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
So San Jose seems to have a historically-sound shot at keeping this high-level play intact right now, if the past is any precedent.
As long as the Sharks keep limiting their opponents to only 22 shots on net per game, they have a great chance to post the league's best record for the second time in franchise history, as well.
Antti Niemi made those 22 saves in the shutout over Montreal, and Logan Couture scored both goals -- one in the second period and one in the third -- for the San Jose victory on Saturday night.
Now, the Sharks play their first back-to-back games this season, as they travel to Ottawa Sunday to face the Senators (4-4-2). It's unknown if San Jose will give Alex Stalock his first NHL start in order to rest Niemi, who has started every game this season for the Sharks.
San Jose already beat Ottawa once this season, at the SAP Center on October 12.
Game time is 2:00 p.m. PT on Sunday.