Last year’s Sharks team was consistently described as the deepest roster they’d ever assembled, maybe. They rode that depth to the Cup Finals, where some key injuries finally did them in against the Penguins.
This year’s team is probably even deeper, and we don’t have to rely on Roman Polack to fuck things up on our bottom pairing to keep things interesting. My boy David Schlemko (SCHLEMKOOOOOO!) has even been a healthy scratch a couple times, giving Dylan DeMelo a chance to get some minutes in and then break his wrist.
But it’s really our forward depth that is notable. Younger players like Kevin Labanc, Timo Meier, and Chris Tierney have established themselves as regular contributors, much like Donskoi and Karlsson did last year. Ryan Carpenter looks promising as well. This has allowed Doug Wilson to offload Tommy Wingels and his relatively high cap hit (for his production) to Ottawa, and led to Matt Nieto of Long Island, NY getting waived and banished to Denver. That’s all because...
Tomas Hertl is coming back! Yeah! Hertl’s gigantic ass, world-class skill, and infectious sores (what, you thought I was going to say “smile”?) are ready to return to give our lines some additional pop. We’re about to put the Hert on Edmonton tonight, baby! Woohoo!
One problem, though, is that the Sharks have been putting in some uneven performances but still getting regulation wins. That’s put them atop the Pacific with games in hand against the Ducks, who somehow are still in this thing despite having a science oven for a coach and an actual infectious disease ravaging their locker room. But we need to tighten up our play a bit going into the back third of the season. The depth will help here, though, is the point.
Oilers @ Sharks
7:30 PM Pacific
Prediction: Our winning streak ends at 6, ohwell.