San Jose Sharks
Team Overview: One of the more beloved expansion franchises, the Sharks enjoy the benefit of having a couple decent skaters and some solid defensive options. Despite this fact though, the Sharks have a legitimate lack of skill, especially up front. Couple a lack of skill with subpar goaltending and the Sharks strengths don’t quite have enough gusto to carry them much beyond a mediocre team. Forwards: One of the typical issues encountered with an expansion team is finding a way to make the offense dangerous enough to be respected. Since San Jose doesn’t quite have the puck skills to be respected, their skating strengths must be utilized to an even greater degree. With that in mind, Kelly Kisio, the most skilled player, will now become a spectator on the bench due to his woeful 2/2 skating. Crash the Net:
Gaudreau-Falloon-Berezan Or Berezan-Gaudreau-Falloon Or Falloon-Gaudreau-Berezan Why 3 combos you ask? Depends on your style of play, the first combo is designed for users who are deke masters and slashers. The second combo is more for one timer specialists who like to use speed on the wings to generate offense. Lastly, the third line is much like the second, but puts the bigger slap shot on the off wing with Falloon.
Pat Falloon: 7 weight, 4/4 skating, 3/2 shot, 4 sth, 3 pass, 3/2 aware, Shoots: R
The most dangerous of these 3 forwards is Pat Falloon, he has the speed, 4/4 skating to attack the opposing defense and hopefully create some space for himself and his teammates. While not the most hearty player coming in at 7 weight, Falloon is still able enough to either be used as a sniper in the middle or a playmaker in the wing. The issue with either of these strategies though is Falloons porous skills. With only a 3/2 shot he really has to come up with some nifty moves to score consistently, thankfully he has the 4 stick handling to aid him. Conversely, Falloon has a merely average 3 pass rating, he can use his superior handling skills to dance around on the outside and hopefully he can make a nice tape to tape pass to feed the open man.
Perry Berezan: 7 weight, 4/4 skating, 2/2 shot, 2 sth, 3 pass, 2/2 aware, Shoots: R
Perry Berezan is much the same as Falloon, in respect to being right handed, 7 weight, and 4/4 speed. Berezan though, is even less skilled than Falloon, with a 2/2 shot, 2 o aware, 2 stick handle, and 3 passing. On most teams Perry wouldn’t warrant any consideration at all, but San Jose doesn’t have another skater of the same caliber as him and no other player aside from Kisio has substantially better skills. What Berezan brings to the table though is a second guy who can lead the offensive push with respectable speed.
Rob Gaudreau: 6 weight, 3/3 skating, 3/3 shot, 2 sth, 3 pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: R
A 3rd right handed shot on this line, Rob Gaudreau supplies steady 3/3 skating and 3/3 shot at 6 weight. Due to his lack of skating and deke skills, Gaudreau is best used on the off wing for in close slap shots and slam dunk one timers. For one timing specialists though, he has the most consistent shot on the ice and may be best utilized in the middle where most of the premium one timing opportunities pop up. Defensively, these three aren’t much to talk about. Falloon and Berezan will typically be the ones carrying the puck up the ice, if one of them gets rubbed out and the puck is turned over, there is only one other player who might be able to run down the opposition from behind. Gaudreau, while light, isn’t much of a skater and that will limit his effectiveness.
Kelly Kisio: 6 weight, 2/2 skating, 3/4 shot, 3 sth, 3 pass, 4/4 aware, Shoots: R
Despite being painfully slow, Kisio can still be worth icing because he does possess some good puck and mental skills on a team that is bereft of both. Try to avoid the one on one game though, Kisio isn't about to break anybodies ankles out there.
Johan Garpenlov: 7 weight, 3/3 skating, 2/3 shot, 3 sth, 2 pass, 4/2 aware, Shoots: L
Garpenlov may be the best of a shoddy selection of 3 speed subs on the Sharks, but that doesn't mean hes useful. Hopefully he sets up on the back post often enough to slam home some easy one-timer, otherwise Garpenlov's skill set isn't tailor made for any other sort of game plan.
Mike Sullivan: 6 weight, 2/3 skating, 2/1 shot, 2 sth & pass, 2/3 aware, Shoots: L
6 weight, 3 speed, expansion team sub, has a pulse, could be worse.
John Carter: 4 weight, 2/2 speed, 2/1 shot, 2 sth & pass, 2/2 aware, Shoots: L
I found something worse, moving right along...
Forwrad Rating: 3/10 Defense: While not star studded, Doug Wilson, Sandis Ozolinsh, Neil Wilkinson, and Tom Pederson give the user a plethora of options to choose from and construct a defense to suit their style. Balanced Defense:
Doug Wilson: 7 weight, 4/3 skating, 6/1 shot, 4 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: L
Wilson’s biggest strength is his 6/1 shot, it’s a weapon that must be used on this team due to the forwards lack of shooting acumen. Thus, it is paramount to have Wilson on the right side of the ice so he can unleash his left handed laser beam. With 4/3 skating and 4 passing, Wilson is an excellent offensive weapon on a team in desperate need of one. While not a big hitter with his 7 weight, Wilson can be a fine defenseman in his own zone as well when he isn’t focusing on rushing the play up the ice.
Neil Wilkinson: 7 weight, 3/3 skating, 2/0 shot, 3 sth, 4 pass, 1/3 aware, Shoots: R
Although right handed and playing left defense, Wilkinson is the most balanced option to be Wilson’s counterpart. Wilkinson’s main strengths are his solid 3/3 skating, 1/3 awareness, and 4 passing. That 4 passing helps make up for him being on his off side and allows him to still dish the puck effectively for breakout passes. Another 7 weight option, Wilkinson doesn’t bring big hitting to the table, but he is typically in fairly decent position to break up passes and apply the poke check. Rush the puck: Ozolinsh-Wilson
Sandis Ozolinsh: 7 weight, 3/3 skating, 3/2 shot, 3 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: R
Ozolinsh is much more offensive minded than Wilkinson, but that doesn’t mean Ozolinsh is a major offensive weapon. Ozolinsh has the same skating and weight as Wilkinson, but Ozolinsh isn’t as attentive on defense as his 3 o aware will keep him in the offensive mindset more often. Ozolinsh also only posses 3 passing and a 3/2 shot, neither are big enough weapons to make an average skating defenseman a true offensive weapon. Smash Brothers:
Tom Pederson: 4 weight, 1/2 skating, 2/2 shot, 2 sth, 3 pass, 3/2 aware, Shoots: R
One smashes the puck, the other smashes skulls. Pederson is a flyweight option at 4 for the biggest weight bug whores of us all. That’s all the good news about Pederson though, the bad news is that Pederson has pathetic 1/2 skating, 2/2 shot, and 2 defensive awareness. But if you cant get enough of the weight buggers, this is your guy.
Jay More: 7 weight, 3/2 skating, 4/1 shot, 3 sth & pass, 1/3 aware, Shoots: R
A bit of a lead foot, but a secondary puck pounder on the back line could come in handy for a forward unit that is incapable of such feats.
Defense Rating: 5/10 Goalie Zone:
Arturs Irbe: 5 weight, 2/4 skating, 3 puck control, 3/3/2/2 save, Catches: L
Being the 23-25th best rated goalie in the game, Irbe always seems to be a starting option on the most goalie inept teams in the GDL. Ultimately, users find his 2/4 skating to be too hard to handle in the goal crease as Irbe tends to move around like a semi-truck. Irbe doesn’t really have a saving grace, so typically he loses his starting job and becomes a platoon guy at best. On the Sharks though he is by far the best option, just don’t expect too many game saving stops from him.
Goalie Rating: 2.5/10 Bottom Line: The Sharks are vastly under skilled, but they do posses decent skating, decent weight, and a puck pounding defenseman that all opponents must respect. If the user can maximize their assets, the Sharks can be a somewhat dangerous team and steal some wins from some of the better teams in the league.