First, some things the Sharks have going for them as the season moves to a finish:
- Hart and Vezina trophy candidates in Thornton and Nabokov. Not many other teams have an MVP candidate on the attack and a top goaltender between the pipes - Detroit, Calgary, ...?
- Strong special teams, including a top-3 Penalty Kill unit and a rapidly improving Power Play
- Ridiculously good road winning percentage (17-5-3? That's better than most teams' home record)
- Units are finally starting to click, including Michalek-Thornton-Cheechoo and Rissmiller-Mitchell-Grier
- Luck always has a huge factor in the NHL playoffs. Don't pretend like it doesn't.
- An experienced defenseman that can play both ends of the ice. I think we should plant Rivet in the ground and see if he'll sprout into an experienced, two-way D-man tree; that way we'll never run out. I'd be very satisfied going to war with Rivet, McLaren, Murray, Ozolinsh, either Vlasic or Carle, and dear God please, Brian Campbell.
- A veteran, cup-winning forward with leadership experience. Drew Remenda pointed out that no current Shark has ever won a Stanley Cup. We need someone to show us the way.
- A goal-scoring forward. As of now, only Thornton, Michalek, and Cheechoo are on pace to score 20 goals this season, and none more than 30. That's terrible. We could use some offensive firepower that doesn't require a tape-to-tape from #19. I'm looking at you, Hossa.
- I don't buy the argument the Sharks need a backup to Nabokov. If Nabokov goes down, we're totally fucked anyways (KNOCKKNOCKKNOCK).
That's a pretty extensive wishlist, but I think any of my 3 requests would be a huge boon to our boys in teal. For now, I've got Brian Campbell on the top of my Christmas in February list. Make a deal, Doug!
What are you worried about going into the playoffs? Who are you pining for this magical trade deadline season?