Last season, the San Jose Sharks clinched their ninth consecutive berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the sailing was not always smooth. After a scorching January, the Sharks hit an offensive rough patch that threatened their postseason chances. The slump was so severe management was forced to shuffle the lineup and address long-term questions during the busiest point of the season.
This offseason, general manager Doug Wilson has continued implementing his "reset/refresh" philosophy in an attempt to avoid the emergency surgery of last season. Has Wilson done enough to steer the Sharks toward running their playoff streak to 10 in 2013-14?
According to the website OnTheForecheck.com, the Sharks will cover more miles than any team in the NHL competing in a realigned Pacific Division. Their goaltender, Antti Niemi, is world-class, but he's looking for a backup. The Sharks shone on special teams last season but struggled at full strength, and the defense again may be asked to carry a big load.
Here is a look at the six biggest questions facing San Jose as it enters 2013-14: