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San Jose Sharks Lines: Top-Heavy or Spread-Out? Stalock or Sateri?

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Will the Sharks put all of their top-end talent on the first two lines? Or will they spread it out over all four lines? Also, who will back up Antti Niemi? Alex Stalock or Harri Sateri?Forwards:

I think that the Sharks are going to spread out the talent across all four lines, mostly because it seemed to work for them in the later part of the regular season and into the playoffs. Some of you might say, “It did not work, we lost in the second round,” but, the Raffi Torres suspension really hurt us. In my opinion, he did not deserve that suspension, and I think that we would have won the series if he was playing.

So, anyways, here are my line predictions for the upcoming season:

First Line:

Left Wing (LW)-Patrick Marleau”A”  Center (C)-Joe Thornton”C”  Right Wing (RW)-Brent Burns

I think that the top three lines of a team should have the combination of a sniper (SNP) (Marleau), a play-maker or all around-guy (PLY) (Thornton) and a power forward (PWF) (Burns). The power forward drives to the net, gobbling up rebounds and screening the goalie. The play-maker or all-around guy sets up the sniper who scores the goals or provides a re-bounds for the power forward.

Marleau was 3rd on the team in points scoring 17 goals and adding 14 assists for 31 total points in 48 games.

Thornton led the team in points with 40 (7 goals and 33 assists) in 48 games.

Burns missed 18 games with an injury, but still contributed 9 goals and 11 assists for a total of 20 points (6th) in 30 games.

Second Line:

LW-Raffi Torres  C-Logan Couture  RW-Tomas Hertl

On this line the SNP Hertl, all-around forward (AAF) (does everything well) is Couture and the PWF is Torres.

Torres racked up a total of 7 goals and 11 assists for 18 points in 39 games between Phoenix and San Jose. (in San Jose: 2G-4A=6P)

Couture tallied 21 goals and added 16 assists in 48 games good enough for 2nd on the team in points with 37.

Hertl, 2012 1st round draft pick (17th overall), played for HC Slavia Praha in the Czech Republic last season scoring 18 goals and 12 assists for 30 points in 43 games.

Third Line:

LW-Tommy Wingels  C-Joe Pavelski  RW-Tyler Kennedy

Again, Wingels is the PWF, Pavelski is the AAF making Kennedy the SNP.

Wingels contributed 5 goals and 8 assists for a total of 13 points in 42 games

Pavelski was fourth on the team in points with 16 goals and 15 assists adding up to 31 points in 48 games

Recently acquired forward Tyler Kennedy scored 6 goals and helped on 5 for a total of 11 points in a season where he was not used to his full potential with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Fourth Line:

LW-James Sheppard  C-Andrew Desjardins  RW-Adam Burish

This is a very good fourth line, they all have a good mix of skill and grit. Desjardins and Burish are grinders (GRN) who are your fighters and hard nose guys and Sheppard is a PLY.

Sheppard put up 1 goal and added 3 helpers for 4 points in 32 games in his first season since his offseason ATV accident 3 years ago.

Desjardins scored 2 goals and assisted on 1 for 3 points in 42 games.

Burish tallied 1 goal and 2 assists for 3 points in 46 games.

Extras:

It is so hard to predict who the Sharks are going to call up in case of injuries, etc. here is some possible names: Freddie Hamilton (AAF), Braken Kearns (AAF), John McCarthy (PLY), Matt Pelech (GRN), Travis Oleksuk (PLY), Sebastian Stalberg (SNP), Brodie Reid (AAF), James Livingston (PLY) and Curt Gogol (GRN). I believe that Martin Havlat (SNP) will stay on the LTIR the whole year.

Defensemen:

On defense, I like to put offensive defensemen (OFD) with defensive defensemen (DFD) and two-way defensemen (TWD) with another TWD

First Pair:

Left Defenseman (LD)-Brad Stuart  Right Defenseman (RD)-Dan Boyle”A”

In the first pair, Stuart is the DFD and Boyle is the OFD.

Stuart added 6 helpers for 6 points in 48 games in his first season back with the Sharks.

Boyle led all Sharks defenseman in goals (7), assists (13) and points (20) in 46 games.

Second Pair:

LD-Scott Hannan  RD-Matt Irwin

Same as the last pair, Hannan is the DFD making Irwin the OFD.

Hannan got 1 assist before he was traded from the Nashville Predators and that is all he got in 2013 in 29 games in Nashville and 4 in San Jose.

In his breakout rookie year, Irwin scored 6 goals and 6 assists for 12 points in 38 games.

Third Pair:

LD-Marc-Edouard Vlasic  RD-Justin Braun/Jason Demers

All these defensemen are TWD and I expect Braun and Demers to split time on the third pair RD slot.

Vlasic scored 3 goals and helped on 4 for a total of 7  points in 48 games.

Braun racked up 7 assists for 7 points in 41 games.

Demers, who was hurt for a majority of the season, scored 1 goal and added 2 assists for 3 points in 22 games.

Extras:

Same as forwards, expect it to vary, here are some choices: Matt Tennyson (OFD), Nick Petrecki (TWD), Taylor Doherty (DFD) and Sena Acolatse (OFD).

Goaltenders:

Starter:

Antti Niemi

Pretty Obvious. the Vezina Trophy candidate ended this shortened season with 24 wins, 12 loses and 6 OT losses. he had a 2.16 goals against average and a .924 save percentage in 43 games.

Back-Up:

Alex Stalock

Stalock is the choice because he has more NHL experience than Harri Sateri and he has better numbers in Worscester. he tallied 17 wins, 16 losses, 4 OT losses, a 2.60 goals against average and a .912 in 38 games

Extras:

There is really only 2 choices, Sateri and J.P. Anderson.

Thanks for the read. Your opinion belongs in the comments.

Follow me on Twitter @SharksWriter

-Erik West