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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:






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.

Other Options:

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:


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.

Other Options:

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.

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Weight Bug Fix Analysis

Not a lot I can say about this team. Their useful forwards weigh 6-7, that zone where nothing really changes with the weight bug fix, and their D is the same.

There is one new option on this team, though: Doug Zmolek. He weighs 12 and has 3 DfA. Everything else useful is a 2, but that 12/3 checking will generate a lot of turnovers (but then again, so will his passing!)

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Zmolek isn't horrible. If you want a hitter that can smash any opposing forwards, Zmolek is the guy to go to.

With weight fixed, I wouldn't totally count out Kisio. Sure, he's slow, but his offensive upside can still make him helpful as he can serve up good passes for Gaudreau or Falloon and on top of that he's a good hitter. The one proviso is setting him as a wingman, preferrably on the right; he works a lot better at the wing rather than center and he can have good chemistry with Falloon.

Do you guys think Irbe is slow? His agility leaves a lot to be desired, but his speed is at 78, which isn't a total loss. His defensive awareness and stick work are decent at best, but his puck control and glove work can cause problems. Even so, if you're active with the manual goalie and you keep calm, you can actually give some use to Irbe. His speed may help matters and if you can master him, you can do so pretty much with any goalie of your choice.

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  • 1 year later...

Probably my favorite team to play with. I consider myself to be a half way decent player and I'll play anybody. The thing is though, a lot of my buds plain suck or are just getting the hang of the game and I like to pick this team when I play against those caliber guys. It wouldn't even be fair if I chose Dallas or Chicago, and I can't stand playing with Florida and Anaheim. This slower, unskilled team still can be fun to play with.

I like to use your 3rd line combo, and "rush the puck" D combo. Problem is, Wilson can't hit the broadside of a barn. So, expect a lot of shots to go straight right over the glass into the stands. Also, God forbid Falloon gets his bell rung and is out for game because you are going to have major problems.

What I like about this team is how they play as a team. I can't explain it, but I feel they all know they aren't the greatest and they have to make up for it by crashing and hovering around the net. I've used this team and dished out major shalakings in the past. Plus, if my opponent uses Pittsburgh, it's automatic I pick San Jose. Again, can't explain it, but I feel San Blowse is their kryptonite.

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  • 10 months later...

Gaudreau and Berezan are key with Falloon, maybe garpenlov if he gets a good stat kick that game. These reviews are awesome! it's crazy, just a few line changes and teams like sj can compete with some of the stronger teams

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  • 1 year later...
  • 1 month later...

LD: Sandis Ozolinsh
RD: Doug Wilson
LW: Perry Berezan
C: Pat Falloon
RW: Kelly Kisio

G: Arturs Irbe

Subs: John Carter, Johan Garpenlov, Dean Evason.

If Berezan goes down with an injury, you can get some goals out of Evason.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I use Falloon - Gaudreau - Garpenlov. Kisio is TOO SLOW to use, almost guaranteed to get destroyed before he can get anywhere near the net. He does have a good shot on one-timers, but playing against experienced players means he's not likely to be open (or standing)..

Sometimes I swap out Wilkinson for Ozolinsh, but usually the 5/24 combo works well. Really it's a matter of if one of them is cold or not.

This is all SNES, though. I haven't really played SJ on genesis much in years.

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  • 1 year later...

CB Notes


Pat Falloon & Perry Berezan: Let's be very clear here, most of this article will say the same thing over and over again so excuse me for being repetitive from the get go. Both Berezan and Falloon possess 7 weight and not much changes for these two as they are still must start options due to their skating ability. Heavy defenders can push them around and they can show a little CB flex on anyone 5 weight or less.

Rob Gaudreau: Takes a small hit as his 6 weight and 3 speed isn't an ideal package for evading the likes of Ray Bourque. Still probably the best bet as the 3rd forward but it may be wiser to keep him on the wing as his one on one skills have deteriorated further.

Kelly Kisio: Same deal as with Gaudreau except the 2/2 skating for Kisio really hurts him. Even the slow and clumsy defenders such as Uwe Krupp should have a fair chance at dragging down Kisio with a CB check. Tough to use on the wing as speed is very important to have in that position.

Johan Garpenlov: Garpenlov may have just become the new first man off the bench as his 3/3 skating and 7 weight make him a bit more palatable option over Kisio. Nothing much should be expected as the 2 passing and 2 shot power will make it crucial for him to work in close on offense, not an easy spot to get to for the likes of Garpenlov.

Mike Sullivan: A tough sell for ice time before CB tech, an even tougher sell with it as his dearth of skill is now further combined with this susceptibility to CB checkers.

John Carter: No one above him has a must ice skill set but John Carter does at least have weight bug defensive potential. Possible poor man's Keith Acton which could be useful in specific match ups such as against Hartford.

Jeff Odgers: 9 weight, 1/2 skating, 2/3 shot, 1 pass, 2 sth, 3/2 aware, Shoots: L

San Jose's CB king does not inspire much confidence due to some beyond porous skating ratings and underwhelming skills. Extremely difficult to recommend Odgers for any situation but he is there if there situation ever arises.

Ed Courtenay: 9 weight, 2/2 skating, 1/3 shot, 2 pass, 1 sth, 3/3 aware, Shoots: R

*stares off into the distance...* Sorry about that, zoned out for a second. The nice thing about Courtenay is that his player sprite takes up just as much as space as any other in the game.

The top 3 from before are probably still the best bet for success. Just gonna take a little more finesse and know how to get them into scoring position.


Doug Wilson: 7 weight and 4/3 skating, not much new here for Doug as he is still a critical component to the Sharks defense. Perhaps a slight downgrade in offense is needed to due to his new susceptibility to being back checked by heaver and faster forwards.

Neil Wilkinson: Same story different verse, probably not a good enough skater to gain a huge advantage from CB checking. Not a poor enough skater or passer to be a huge liability with the puck in his own zone.

Sandis Ozolinsh: Solid enough sub and a reasonable enough starter. 7 weight blah blah blah CB check.

Tom Pederson: Probably a pretty good option against a team with average skating 6-8 weight forwards. Aside from that he's just a weight bugger with a minor league skill set who wouldn't be miscast in the PK rotation.

Jay More: 7 weight...my eyes hurt.

Doug Zmolek: 12 weight, 2/2 skating, 2/1 shot, 2 sth & pass, 2/3 aware, Shoots: L

San Jose is kind of a weird team in that they have a bunch of right handed defenders which can make it tricky to put Wilson on his off hand side. Zmolek may just be a fine remedy for that dilemma as he is the closest thing the Sharks can ice to a real CB option. If Zmolek can stay home in front of his own goalie he may just prove useful in games against some goal scoring slugs in the middle or a non elite skating winger. The skill set is pretty poor but it isn't demonstrably worse than Pederson who is an acceptable weight bug defender. Probably not a starter in most cases, Zmolek could be useful guy to keep in the rotation none the less.

Peter Ahola: 9 weight, 2/2 skating, 2/1 shot, 2 sth & pass, 1/3 aware, Shoots: L

Ahola is a near carbon copy of Zmolek skill wise but a little bit less of CB overkill. The reduction in weight should bring a slight increase in mobility which could prove to be useful against a team stocked with 6 & 7 weight forwards. It'd probably be advisable to start Pederson in those match ups if you stray from the main pair but Ahola might be less likely to venture up ice with his more preferable awareness ratings. It is not advisable to try incorporate Ahola offensively, he's a bit of a tire fire outside of his own zone.

Bottom Line

If anything the Sharks take a slight hit as they aren't talented enough skating or skill wise to be truly unaffected despite their cavalry of 6-7 weight players. None of the CB options banging on the managers door are worth anything more than the occasional spot start. Things remain tough in SJ but they can still provide problems with a skilled coach at the helm.

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