Originally posted on The Hockey Program  |  Last updated 3/11/12

When it comes to the most consistent teams in the NHL over the past number of years, one will always hear about the likes of the Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks and so on and so forth.

However, one club that does not get the recognition that it deserves is the San Jose Sharks. While the Sharks are now six points behind the division-leading Dallas Stars and currently out of the top eight in the Western Conference, because of their experience and talent, they have the ability to overcome the Stars and win the Pacific Division at the end of the regular season.

For starters, this team has experienced a lot together. They have won four consecutive Pacific Division titles and have gone to the last two Western Conference Finals together. This team is battle-tested; and while they have not been able to get to the big dance, they have been able to get to the postseason every year since the lockout. Only other team, Detroit, can say that.

If you look at the Dallas Stars, they have not made it to the playoffs since 2008 season. That year, that got to the Western Conference Finals only to lose to the powerful Red Wings. Since then however, they have failed to get into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. As a result, they aren’t battle-tested like these Sharks.

Secondly, this Sharks hockey club has a lot of offensive talent. Joe Thornton (14g-48a), Patrick Marleau (27g-26a), Logan Couture (27g-26a), and Joe Pavelski (24g-25a) can all provide a ton of offense. Unfortunately for the Sharks, they just have not been able to do it consistently throughout the season. That could all change come playoff time.

Lastly, they have a great coach in Todd McLellan. He has done almost everything for franchise except bring them a Stanley Cup. There is no doubt that he can get his club back on the right track, playing good enough hockey down the stretch to win the division.

It is going to be a few exciting weeks down the stretch for this division but when all is said and done, the Sharks have a great chance of coming out of it as Pacific Division champions for the fifth straight season.

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