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Season preview: San Jose Sharks


Season preview: San Jose Sharks

To get you ready for the 2015-16 season, we will be previewing all 30 NHL in 30 days, division by division. Check the bottom of the page for a schedule of each preview.

Today’s team: San Jose Sharks

2014-15 record: 40-33-9, 5th in the Pacific

How they finished: Did not make the playoffs

Coach: Peter DeBoer (1st season)

Notable additions: G Martin Jones, D Paul Martin, RW Joel Ward

Notable subtractions: G Antti Niemi, D Scott Hannan, D Matt Irwin

RELATED: Who will drop the gloves for the Caps this season?

Schedule against the Capitals: Tues. Oct. 13 at Washington, Sat. March 12 at San Jose

Outlook: When you look at the Sharks on paper, they appear to have all the pieces on offense. Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Patrick Marleau, Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl is a pretty impressive roster, but this offense only managed 2.73 goals per game last season, 15th in the NHL. That corps isn't getting any younger.

Thornton is 36, Pavelski is 31 and Marleau is 35. Couture and Hertl will have to take bigger roles this season. While the Sharks did add Joel Ward, he's at his best in the playoffs so the Sharks may not even see the best that he has to offer.

Paul Martin is a clear upgrade for the defense, but the question for the Sharks is not the defense, but the goaltending.

Heading into this season, the Sharks will rely on Martin Jones as their starter, a 25-year-old goalie with 34 NHL games in his NHL career. The Sharks were willing to give up a first-round draft pick and a prospect for him, but he is completely unproven at the NHL. He may prove to be great, but this is a situation to build on, not one a team with any real chance of a deep playoff run would make.

There's plenty of talent here, but the Sharks are like a long math problem. It looks like you've done all the right work, but you just aren't getting the right answer. The best thing you can do is start over.

Expectations: The Sharks are long in the tooth and look as if they are in need of a rebuild and even their general manager called them a "tomorrow team." The problem is they can't really rebuild with players like Thornton still in tow. Instead, the Sharks are caught in no-man's land, a team with most of their money committed to declining veterans and a few younger pieces they hope to eventually build around.

Will the old and young talent fuse into a playoff contender capable of making one last shot at the Cup? No. More likely the Sharks will be the Toronto of the West this season, a team with plenty of talent, no identity and no playoffs.

MORE CAPS: Caps likely to rotate at third line center this season

See more team previews:

Pacific Division 
Anaheim Ducks 
Arizona Coyotes 
Calgary Flames 
Edmonton Oilers
Los Angeles Kings
Vancouver Canucks 8/7

Central Division 
Chicago Blackhawks 8/8 
Colorado Avalanche 8/9 
Dallas Stars 8/10 
Minnesota Wild 8/11
St. Louis Blues 8/13 
Winnipeg Jets 8/14

Atlantic Division 
Boston Bruins 8/15 
Buffalo Sabres 8/16 
Detroit Red Wings 8/17 
Florida Panthers 8/18 
Montreal Canadiens 8/19 
Ottawa Senators 8/20< 
Tampa Bay Lightning 8/21 
Toronto Maple Leafs 8/22

Metropolitan Division 
Carolina Hurricanes 8/23 
Columbus Blue Jackets 8/24 
New Jersey Devils 8/25 
New York Islanders 8/26 
New York Rangers 8/27 
Philadelphia Flyers 8/28 
Pittsburgh Penguins 8/29 
Washington Capitals 8/30

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3 stars of the game: A lethargic loss in Philadelphia


3 stars of the game: A lethargic loss in Philadelphia

Playing three games in four days takes a toll on even the fittest athletes, and it was their sluggish start that doomed the Capitals in a 6-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. 

After being noncomittal about his starting goalie all weekend, Coach Barry Trotz put Philipp Grubauer in net. Grubauer ended up making 29 saves on 34 shots. Offensively, the Caps got goals from Alex Ovechkin, Chandler Stephenson, and John Carlson. Carlson's third period goal cut the Flyers' lead to two with a little over three minutes to go, but a Jakub Voracek empty-netter a few moments later was the nail in the coffin. 

Here are your three stars from the game: 

1. Travis Boyd had the play of the game for the Capitals. Boyd carried the puck into the Flyer's zone, cut through multiple defenders and fired a slick shot to a streaking Ovechkin, who burried the puck in the back of the net. Check it out: 

Not only was the play nice on its own, but it was Boyd's first NHL point. Not a bad way to get it. 

2. Shayne Gostisbehere​ got the Flyers going with his goal in the first period. The defenseman had one goal on five shots along with being an intimidating force in the defensive zone. After going six weeks without scoring, today's goal was Gostisbehere's second goal in three games. 

3. Wayne Simmonds was the best offensive player on the ice on Sunday, scoring twice - both in the final period. It was the 22nd and 23rd goals of the season for the 29-year-old winger. It was also the first multi-goal game for Simmonds since Opening Night, when he had two against San Jose. 

The Caps hit the ice next on Tuesday, when they welcome the Dallas Stars to the Capital One Center. 

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Game 72 Capitals at Flyers Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

Game 72 Capitals at Flyers Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pa.

When: 5:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Flyers will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Flyers game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.


The Capitals (41-23-7) take on the Flyers (36-25-11) Sunday, March 18 at 5:00 p.m. ET in Philadelphia.


The Capitals-Flyers game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

4:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
4:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
5:00 p.m. — Capitals at Flyers
7:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
8:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
9:00 p.m. — Caps in 30


The Capitals-Flyers game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.


Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.