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What Are Strengths, Weaknesses of Sharks’ Competition for Playoff Spot?

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Credit: San Jose Sharks

The San Jose Sharks are — gasp — holding onto the last wild-card spot in the Western Conference entering Wednesday’s action.

If you said the Sharks would be right there, nearly halfway into the season, for a playoff spot during training camp, that would’ve surprised a lot of people. If you said the Sharks would be right there, a week after “humiliating” losses to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings on the road, for a playoff spot, that might’ve surprised a lot of people.

But here the Sharks are, 37 games into the season, ahead of more highly-regarded Western Conference squads like the Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, Dallas Stars and Vancouver Canucks.

Will they stay there? That’s anybody’s guess.

But I reached out to reporters for the San Jose Sharks’ closest Western Conference rivals to learn about the competition’s strengths and weaknesses.

I’ve excluded the Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues, and Vegas Golden Knights from this survey. I’m assuming these five teams are postseason locks.

I’ve also excluded the Arizona Coyotes, Chicago Blackhawks, and Seattle Kraken from this survey. I’m assuming these three teams are lottery locks.

That leaves the Sharks, Oilers, Jets, Stars, Canucks, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, and Nashville Predators to compete for three Western Conference playoff spots.

The Preds, by the way, are on a five-game winning streak that has vaulted them to the top of the Central Division. I started this survey before their streak, so if you count Nashville as in, then we’re talking seven squads vying for just two postseason berths.

Let’s size up the San Jose Sharks’ competition with Felix SicardTaylor Baird, Jason Gregor, Gunnar NordstromBryan BastinRob Simpson, and Harrison Lee.

Read this article at NBC Sports Bay Area

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