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The 2016-17 Sharks Look Legit After Stumbling in Cup Final

San Jose is making teal cool again after getting all the way to the Cup final last year. Although some roster weaknesses were made abundantly clear in their six games with the Penguins in the final series for Lord Stanley’s mug, the Sharks were right on the brink of winning their first franchise Stanley Cup. They addressed some of their needs in the offseason and unless age starts to catch up to them, they should be in great position to make another deep playoff run.

The front office didn’t reinvent the wheel over the summer but it did shed some dead weight and added a forward in Mikkel Boedker who seems like a perfect fit on the secondary scoring unit for the Sharks. Marty Jones proved he has what it takes to be a No. 1 backstop last season with his 37 wins and .918 save percentage and will likely be asked to play 70-plus games for the Fish if he stays healthy – a first-round pick for Jones now seems like a steal.

Check out some of the Sharks’ futures odds for the upcoming season.

Stanley Cup +1600

Some of you may be hot on the Sharks after they fell just two wins short of winning their first franchise Stanley Cup last season but consider this. Pete DeBoer, head coach of the Sharks, has qualified for the playoffs just two times in his eight-year NHL coaching career. Although he made the finals in both those postseason appearances, he has no Stanley Cup rings and actually missed the playoffs the year after his team last made it to the Cup final.

That said, San Jose is one of my favorite value plays at 16/1. The savvy vets on this team are now steeped in playoff experience and seem to have shed the label of chokers. If Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau can contribute 50 percent of what they did last year and save some gas for the playoffs, this team could be a postseason nightmare.

Western Conference +750

This is a great play. Although teams don’t win back-to-back Western Conference championships very often – it’s happened just three times since 1994 – I’m only looking at two teams in Western Conference futures: this one, and the Dallas Stars.

The West has become a place where conservative play is being greatly outshined by firepower and the Sharks are freaking gunslingers. They were the fourth-highest scoring team in the league last season but were absolutely lethal with the man advantage and scored a league-high 59 on the power play. If Jones can just be solid, this team is going places – good places, I’m hoping.

Pacific Division +260

The Sharks finished third in their division with 98 points last year but should have no trouble eclipsing that metric in 2016-17 if they improve only slightly at home. Although they were the best road team in the show last season (28-10-3), San Jose finished with a dismal 18-20-3 record in their own building.

That terrible home record was nothing more than an anomaly. The Sharks actually outscored their opponents 73-65 at the SAP Center last season and were on the wrong side of many one-goal games. Jones will have to improve in SoCal if the Sharks want to run away with the Pacific like they could – San Jose had the fourth-worst home save percentage in the league last year.                                                  

Total Season Points OVER/UNDER 100.5

If you’ve taken in anything I’ve written so far, you’ll know I think the OVER here is an easy bet. This team could’ve challenged the Capitals for the Presidents’ Trophy had they not lost so many close games at home.

Brent Burns Norris Trophy +700

Brent “The Beard” Burns, what a hockey player this guy is. He paced all defensemen in goals last season with 27 while also leading ALL skaters in individual Corsi, yet he received just three first-place votes for the Norris. The voting for the best defenseman is always a little wonky – and skewed toward bigger markets – but you have to think Burns has now paid his dues and should be a shoo-in if he has another year like he did in 2015-16 and if the Sharks are as good as I think they will be.

2016-17 San Jose Sharks Futures Odds
Stanley Cup+1600
Western Conference+750
Win Totals 100.5

Odds as of October 8 at Bovada