The NHL has been carrying a series on their website called "30-in-15" detailing each team in the league over the final 15 days until the 2013-14 season begins. The San Jose Sharks were the subject on Wed., Sept. 25.
As expected, their preview was thorough. It talked about the strong finish to the 2013 season. It broke down the blue line, forwards and goalies. It featured links to other articles related to the team.
For the most part, their analysis was on-target. Their personnel assessments were spot-on. They broke down the prospect pool, roles of each player and covered injuries—a problem during the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs.
They should have gone more in-depth on the last issue that has always been a problem for the Sharks. Martin Havlat has always struggled to stay healthy enough to play. He and Raffi Torres appear to be headed for at least November before they can be expected to return. Brad Stuart has yet to practice during training camp.
One thing they did not cover was how the Sharks would be better than the teams they could not beat last season. Perhaps having the team together from the start would have given them home ice to propel them over their Pacific Division rival Los Angeles Kings. Given Chicago’s dominance the last time they faced off in a Western Conference final and in three games during 2013 there is little reason to expect San Jose would have put up much more of a fight against the eventual Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in the next round.
That third round has been the ceiling in seasons when the Sharks were at the top of the talent pool. An examination of not only the units covered on NHL.com, but also their coaching and potential to add talent shows that appears to be their ceiling on paper, too.