The San Jose Sharks are a franchise in the National Hockey League (NHL), a team in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference and a definite playoff threat.
This squad from northern California won more games than it lost last season and proved to be a formidable opponent in the postseason. However, the division in which they’re located is filled with several top-tier teams.
If the Sharks want to improve their standing this year, they will have to beat the teams they play at home and on the road five times. Those teams include the Los Angeles Kings, the Vancouver Canucks and the Calgary Flames.
It will not be an easy task because winning in a professional sport is always difficult. The guess is that this improving squad will be up to the task.
Of course, the Sharks will be entertaining the teams they have to beat in several home games. Then, they will have to travel to beat the same teams in their home arenas. Each team plays a total of thirty games against divisional foes. Winning fifteen or more of those games will make it much easier to get to the playoffs.
Travel is a constant for all teams in the National Hockey League. It involves trips every month of the season to cities in the United States and Canada. The squads that hold up better to the wear-and-tear of frequent travel and games three to four times a week will have a much better chance of succeeding, in the regular season and in the playoffs.
San Jose will face a four game road trip in October. It will cover the period from October 13th – October 19th and will include one day stops in Washington, Newark, Manhattan and Brooklyn.
A six game road trip in November places this team in even greater peril. In fact, this “whirlwind tour” will take the Sharks to such destinations as Detroit, Buffalo, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio. The six games on the trip’s schedule will be played in a period of about ten days from November 13th through November 22nd.
A week-long five day road trip in December has the Sharks spending some time in Canada for games against the Ottawa Senators, the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs, as well as games in the United States against the rugged Chicago Blackhawks and the dangerous Los Angeles Kings.
The Sharks, to their good fortune, will be playing the majority of their games in January and February in San Jose. That gives their players a chance to get proper rest in their own homes while other teams are sleeping in different hotels every night.
It won’t be easy for the Sharks to “take a step forward” in 2015, but this is a team that has the ability to succeed. All they have to do is play up to their collective abilities every time they step on the ice.