from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The Sharks were a 105-point team a year ago, won two rounds, qualified for the conference championship for a second consecutive year and then ultimately lost to Vancouver, in part because Thornton, their top centre, was injured and could hardly play in the third round because of a separated shoulder.
The Sharks were so convinced of their championship potential that they worked even harder to tweak the lineup in the hopes of leapfrogging the Canucks this season. GM Doug Wilson made two separate trades with the Minnesota Wild. In one, he brought in defenceman Brent Burns to add scoring from the blueline. In the other, he added Martin Havlat to replace Dany Heatley, thinking the chemistry change would revitalize Havlat and the team.
But Havlat got off to a slow start, missed more than two months with a torn hamstring, and since his return he has been one of the better Sharks’ players. Burns has been okay too. After scoring 17 goals and 46 ...