San Jose Sharks 2010-11 Season Preview
The San Jose Sharks finished yet again as the top team in the Western Conference, but it was more of same when it came time for their usual, premature exit from the playoffs.
After another terribly disappointing finish in 2009-2010, it became clear that it was time for San Jose to make some serious changes if they wanted to overcome their annual choke-job in the postseason.
The team let go of key players like captain Rob Blake, Manny Malhotra, Brad Staubitz, and goaltender Evgeni Nobokov. Nobokov is a very good player, but he has taken a significant part of the blame for the team's postseason failures.
To replace Nobokov, the Sharks signed both Antero Niittymaki and Antti Niemi. They both come from opposite ends of the specturm. Niittymake is a solid but unproven goaltender while Niemi is coming off a fabulous Stanley Cup performance with the Chicago Blackhawks.
No matter who plays goaltender, the defense in front of him should be pretty solid. The loss of Blake will certainly hurt, but the Sharks have other players capable of coming together and filling the void.
Despite some of the key losses, the core of this team remains the same. While there might be a slight drop-off, look for San Jose to finish among the top teams in the Western Conference and once again be a Stanley Cup contender.