If there's one constant to being an American west coast hockey fan, it's that a lot of your team's players aren't watched very closely by the hockey media. This is pretty much the classic example of east-coast bias in the NHL, and it's why no California team's player will probably ever win a Vezina, Hart (while playing all season for the same team), or Norris trophy. But we know it's all about the Lady Byng, baby! Vote Marleau! The Selke is sort of the condolence prize the media hands out to players considered "underrated" but who actually win their teams more games with their play than any other forwards. The winners also must be magical seal people who shed their seal fur when sunbathing, and NHL GMs snatch the seal fur to keep them in human form.
Perennial Selke winner Patrice Bergeron.
So a shit ton of whining from west coast hockey fans centers around why their players are "underrated" or which players in other divisions are "overrated." But I bet you're asking yourself, what about the players on the Sharks that are neither over- nor underrated? Let's take a look.
Joe Pavelski - He was just an All Star and has a shooting percentage that wouldn't look out of place on the 1992 Penguins. Very rated player.
Brent Burns - Gets a lot of attention with his beard and immaturity, but also because he scores a lot of goals as a crazy defenseman.
Joe Thornton - Won the Hart because he played part of the season in Boston, but is also the guy they make a Photoshop outline of when they do their promos for Sharks games.
Patrick Marleau - The only people who don't know how good Marleau is are the kind of fans who turn off penalties in NHL 16 and cross-check their way to scoring 12 goals a game.
Joel Ward - Everyone thinks he's a decent top 6 winger, and that's what he is.
Marc-Eduard Vlasic - Maybe this is controversial, but Vlasic is not underrated. He's awesome, he's almost impeccable in his own zone, and it's nice to see him adding some points this season. He's our best defenseman, and might be our most important single player. Nobody thinks he sucks. He's exactly as good as everyone thinks.
Paul Martin - We needed a top 4 pairing defenseman, we got one. Good job, Paul!
Logan Couture - The perfect second line center. He's never going to be a huge star, but that's ok. Too much is made of his supposed bad attitude, in my opinion. He's a douche in his 20s. This is sports. They're all douches, only most of them are more handsome than Logan.
Tommy Wingels - Not the best 3rd line winger. He's not very good, but nobody expects him to be good. At least we're not paying him a lot of money, and he's a sports douche with something resembling empathy.
The rest of the Sharks roster is somewhere between "incomplete," "overrated," and "underrated."
Sharks @ Nashville
5:00 PM Pacific
Prediction: Seems like every game against Nashville that isn't in the playoffs is a circus of bullshit, the very worst kind of circus. So I fully expect something like a 62 shot shutout loss for the Sharks or 15 total shots between the two teams and the Sharks to lose 4-2 or something.