Sharks disappointed to fall short of Stanley Cup after wild playoff ride


Sharks disappointed to fall short of Stanley Cup after wild playoff ride

To say the Sharks' 2019 playoff run had its ups and downs is a bit of an understatement. Heck, they went through rollercoasters of emotions in single games. But after all the work to rally back against adversity, they still couldn't punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final.

That's what Sharks coach Peter DeBoer pinpointed as the thing that upset him the most. Not that the season was over and that changes to the team are on the horizon, but that the struggles his team went through to get where they were in the playoffs didn't get a different result.

"My disappointment isn't thinking about next year," DeBoer said when he addressed the media following San Jose's 5-1 loss to the Blues in Game 6. "Mine is in the group we have this year and the adversity we faced and the people we had and the work put in. And the number of times they were written for dead and buried and the number of times they kept getting off the mat and the things guys played through."

He isn't wrong. The Sharks had their backs against the wall multiple times in their 20-game postseason run and found ways to come out on the other side. They were on the brink of being eliminated after just four games in the first round before Martin Jones reinvented himself and became locked in for the rest of that series against the Golden Knights. San Jose's struggling power play was about to get them eliminated before it exploded for four goals in just over four minutes in Game 7 to propel the Sharks into the next round. They were getting outskated by a speedy Colorado Avalanche team before an amazing return to action from their injured captain helped push Team Teal into the Western Conference final. 

In every situation, the Sharks were expected to flounder, yet they found a way to work out of it. The fact that effort won't receive a reward is what disheartens DeBoer the most.

"That's the disappointing part for me," DeBoer continued. "The stuff that you don't see should get rewarded and it should be. But, it's a harsh league and it's a hard trophy to win."

San Jose faced its toughest battle yet in Game 6 against the St. Louis Blues with Joe Pavelski, Tomas Hertl and Erik Karlsson all out of the lineup with injuries. While San Jose's depth proved to be its bread and butter when the team is healthy, missing three top players -- and who knows how many others playing were also battling injuries -- was enough to hamper how the Sharks competed against St. Louis.

Logan Couture -- who puts a lot of responsibility on his shoulders when it comes to his team's success -- insisted the loss of big players shouldn't hinder the team's ability to win games. "You can't win in the NHL with one player," he said. "There are so many elite players in the league. It hurts when (one of) your top guys goes down, but other guys have to step up and fill that void. I thought we did a decent job, just not good enough."

[RELATED: Sharks' borrowed time runs out with Game 6 loss to Blues]

With their season now moving into the review mirror, San Jose is set up to have an interesting offseason with several players entering free agency -- including Pavelski and Karlsson -- plus the uncertainty of whether Joe Thornton, who turns 40 in July, has played his last NHL season. Couture admitted this part of the job is a sad one and that the uncertainty of the future isn't fun, but that the team isn't thinking quite that far ahead just yet.

"You play with guys for eight months, every day," Couture explained. "You get a schedule, you come to the rink, you see the guys, go on the road. And then it comes to an abrupt end. You don't know what to do with yourself, and then changes are made. Some of the guys you may not see until you play them the next season. It's the worst part about playing in this league -- there are many positives, that's probably the biggest negative. We expect there's going to be change next year, (but) I think right now it's a little too early to think about it."

Sharks' Erik Karlsson, Marc Edouard-Vlasic, Martin Jones excites Randy Hahn


Sharks' Erik Karlsson, Marc Edouard-Vlasic, Martin Jones excites Randy Hahn

It's a new era of Sharks hockey in San Jose with the departure of captain Joe Pavelski, but there are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic about next season. 

For Randy Hahn, the voice of the Sharks, it all starts with the team's defense. Specifically, it's the trio of Erik Karlsson, Marc Edouard-Vlasic and Martin Jones that has Hahn itching for the season to begin. 

Re-signing Karlsson was the focal point to the Sharks' offseason and San Jose's front office sealed the deal with an eight-year, $92 million contract. With new weight to his wallet, expectations have rocketed for Karlsson in Year 2 wearing teal. 

“There is huge expectations for Erik Karlsson, as there should be and as I’m sure he expects,” Hahn recently said to Blades of Teal's Quentin Thorne. “He is one of the premier players in the league, and has been especially for the last five to six years.”

Karlsson struggled with injuries during his first season with the Sharks, but he still managed to post 45 points (three goals, 42 assists) in 53 regular-season games. He recorded 16 points (two goals, 14 assists) in 19 playoff games, which ranked second on San Jose.

When Karlsson did play, the Sharks went 30-23 in regular-season games and 10-9 in the playoffs.

While he's not a star like Karlsson, Hahn is intrigued to see the growth of Vlasic. 

“With a guy like Marc-Edouard Vlasic, I think the goal of the Sharks is to pair him with Karlsson next season,” Hahn said. “[Vlasic] being a tremendous defensive defender in the NHL and Karlsson being a tremendous offensive defender, and the second wave of offense coming from Brent Burns.”

Rounding out the trio is the Sharks' goaltender.

Jones had a down year where he posted a career-worst .896 save percentage and 2.94 goals against average. Clearly, Hahn still believes in him. 

[RELATED: Why Erik Karlsson's vision, deception stood out]

“Martin Jones is an excellent goalie, I don’t think he is elite yet, but next season I think he has a chance to be,” Hahn said. “The Sharks have a lot of confidence in Martin Jones and they know how good he can be.”

The Sharks open the 2019-20 regular season in Las Vegas, and all eyes will be on their defense taking away goals from the Golden Knights. 

Former Sharks captain Joe Pavelski officially sells San Jose mansion


Former Sharks captain Joe Pavelski officially sells San Jose mansion

It's official, Joe Pavelski no longer is a San Jose resident.

The former Sharks captain has sold his mansion in the affluent Willow Glen neighborhood for $3.6 million, according to The Mercury News.

The original purchase of the five-bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom house was in 2013 for $2.7 million. 

This 4,400-square-foot mansion is surrounded by redwood trees, with a front yard full of flowers and a manicured lawn. And when it comes to the background, it's the perfect lounge area ... with plenty of splashes of teal.

Pavelski bids farewell to the Bay Area after he signed a three-year, $21 million deal with the Dallas Stars. 

Now he can check off one more thing from his moving to-do list.