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The Landlubber’s Guide to the San Jose Sharks

baby shark do do do do do do

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Vegas Golden Knights at San Jose Sharks Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Hey you. You’re swept up in all this Seattle Kraken hype. You want to know more about hockey but don’t know where to start. Well, we want to help make these games easy and fun for you to watch.

Throughout the season, we’ll release Landlubber’s Guides designed with the new fan in mind. This includes basic need-to-know info for you to absorb before you watch Kraken games and highlights.

Let’s dive into the San Jose Sharks.

Are they any good?

I don’t know that you could go so far as to call them good, but they are definitely better than they were the last few years. After a decade of regular season dominance and postseason collapses, the Sharks’ Stanley Cup window finally closed in the 2019-20 season when they finished dead last in the Pacific division. But things appear to be turning around quickly, and this year they’re just one win shy of being in a playoff spot at the moment. Verdict: they’re fine.

Who should I look out for?

  • Tomas Hertl (#48, Center) - Hertl is the team’s leading goal scorer. He made his presence known in the NHL just three games into his career, when he scored 4 goals in one game. But more importantly, he’s a very precious child that we all should do our best to protect.
  • Brent Burns (#88, Defense) - Burns used to be a so-so defender who made up for any shortcomings with the ability to score 20 goals. That offensive upside has diminished recently, but he’s still leading the team in ice time per game, so keep an eye out. He’s the one that looks like Chewbacca.
  • Erik Karlsson (#65, Defense) - Another defenseman with 20+ goal upside, Karlsson slowed down a bit in his first two years in San Jose after being traded away from Ottawa. He’s back to his old self this year though and is on pace to set a career-high in goals. His own points aren’t his main concern though.
  • Timo Meier (#28, Right Wing) - Meier is another Shark in the midst of a career-year. He leads the team in assists and points, and he also happens to have a hell of a shot to go with that.

Any Seattle ties?

Jasper Weatherby (what a name am I right?) was born in Portland, OR and played two years of junior hockey with the Wenatchee Wild in Washington state. He made his NHL debut this year and has scored twice in 27 games so far.

Odds & Ends

  • Seattle selected forward Alexander True from the Sharks in the expansion draft. True, who already spent 3 years with the Seattle Thunderbirds, made his Kraken debut on Saturday and looks to get a crack at his revenge game tonight.
  • The Sharks are a relatively healthy team compared to the rest of the NHL right now, but they will be without forward Kevin Leblanc, who is nursing an upper-body injury.
  • The Sharks skate out onto the ice through a giant shark head, and it’s actually pretty rad.
NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks Andrew Villa-USA TODAY Sports
  • One more thing that connects the Sharks to the Seattle area: Kevin Constantine. Constantine was the second head coach in Sharks franchise history, and several years later went on to become the first head coach in Everett Silvertips history.
Everett Silvertips v Vancouver Giants Photo by Ben Nelms/Getty Images

The puck drops at 7:30 Pacific tonight in San Jose. You can watch from home on ROOT Sports NW if you’re in the Pacific Northwest or on ESPN+ if you’re in a different market.