FIVE THOUGHTS ABOUT THE SAN JOSE SHARKS
1) There are 24 games left, but just five before the NHL's trade deadline. And while this season has presented more highs and lows than most, I'm a firm believer that anything can happen, so long as you just get invited to the dance (playoffs).
2) Thing I'm looking forward to most about the outdoor Stadium Series game: Seeing 70,000 Sharks fans in one place at the same time. General theory says that's never happened before in franchise history. On the topic of that outdoor game - I was at Levi's Stadium last week to observe Dan Craig and his crew doing tremendous work to get the ice rink ready. And sure enough, shortly after the "first spray" on Friday night, they get our warmest Bay Area temperatures since summer. By the way - if you don't know of Dan Craig yet, you will by game time - he is the NHL's ice guru, who has been behind the playing surfaces for every modern outdoor game. No, he is not the same "Daniel Craig" that currently plays James Bond. But he is called "Minus 007" by co-workers... if you get it?
3) Logan Couture & Tommy Wingels have been giving remarkably honest and excellent post-game interviews lately - especially considering how the team has struggled in February. Part of it is their personality, and part of it is their comfort in established roles on the team.
4) Joe Pavelski is sitting on 31 goals, after his 4th career hat trick. And to think people said he might never repeat the career-high 41 snipes last year? He's currently on pace to exceed that number this season.
5) While there is obvious concern about the Sharks losing six of their last eight games - it's often easy to lose sight that valuable things are still occurring on the ice, with regard to the future of the franchise. Rookies like Goodrow, Karlsson, Tierney, Mueller, and Tennyson are experiencing priceless lessons and learning experiences. Not to mention Hertl is gaining repetitions at the Center position, where he will no doubt ultimately be an even more impactful player. All of this, and still - the Sharks are still in a playoff position. With room to play better, and earn a spot in the second season.